View Full Version : Buffalo Bore selection?

Kevin Dill
07-29-2009, 05:42 AM
I'm looking for advice and opinions (can I find those here?) on Buffalo Bore ammo selection. My defense-only weapon for Alaska is a S&W 329PD, which is the ultralight scandium frame revolver. The caliber is .44 mag....3.5" barrel...CT grips.

I'm looking to select a BB load that is +1 for grizzly/black defense in interior Alaska. My primary criteriae are dependable operation, penetration (shoulder/skull) and manageable recoil. Immediate knockdown is not my objective...I don't believe a .44 presents that much delivered energy to the target.

I'd be very appreciative of all ideas, thoughts and experiences.

Kevin Dill

07-29-2009, 07:00 AM
I think the 250 swc at 1000fps would give enough umph with the controlabilty to fire several aimed shots. Remember, only hits count.

If you can handle more powerful loads than use them by all means.

07-29-2009, 08:00 AM
From what I have read most of the hot 44 loads will have stout recoil in that revolver. I have almost a full box of Garret 44 loads 310 grain hard cast SWC @ 1320 fps. These are factory custom loads. I will send you a few free if you want to see how the recoil is. I no longer have a 44 myself.

This depends on if I can actually send them.

Actually I just checked Garrett's site and this ammo is only for use in all steel revolvers. Sorry

07-29-2009, 01:01 PM
Kevin – I think this is what you want as far as BB goes.


I have done a fair amount of experimentation with my 329 and will caution anyone about locking up the revolver with loads that are a bit too hot. Most of the hotter 300 grain commercial offerings are in that category. Even a few of the hotter 240 grain loads can make for some very sticky ejection. It isn't just crimp jump that is a problem. As best I can determine, the Ti cylinder is a lot more flexible than steel and a high pressure load dilates the cylinder more, clamping the casing full aft when it contracts. Not only won't the cylinder turn, you may then have to pound it open and pound out the stuck casing. I don't think it is dangerous by itself, unless having a non-functional gun for a while is dangerous.

Though it is true for any gun/ammo combination, I'd especially urge anyone using a 329 for defensive purposes to test any loads first, particularly if they are on the hot side.

Another commercial load that has worked flawlessly in my 329 and is comparable to the BB offering is the Federal Hunting Cast Core 300 grain. Those chronoed 1144 FPS (872 foot pounds, PF 343) from my gun a few years ago and showed no indications of sticking or crimp jump. They are often available in sporting goods stores.


07-29-2009, 10:03 PM
Call Tim Sundles at Buffalo Bore. He will shoot straight ( pun intended ) with you. I worked with him in 07 before I went to AK and was impressed. I bought some 340 grain to shoot out my borrowed Ruger Redhawk. They shot very accurately. Just like the 250 grain target loads I had been practicing with. Much more kick of course.

In reading a previous posters experience it sounds like too hot of a load can cause problems you don't want. I am sure Tim will have some answers for you.


PS check out the new PBS web site. It is excellent. Like this one.

07-29-2009, 10:27 PM
Full power, heavy BB loads will be a hand full in that light S&W. My vote would be the Federal Cast offering or similair handload at 1000-1100 fps. As was pointed out, only hits count. I carry a 500 Linebaugh (Ruger Bisley conversion) and a 440 gr bullet at 850 fps is not difficult to shoot and will settle most any issue. Big and slow is not a bad way to go...

Kevin Dill
07-30-2009, 04:03 AM
Nick and my other friends:

I appreciate the feedback...have been following this thread closely. I've learned that the 329 is a fairly popular sidearm, and there has been a lot of interest in what loads it handles best. I just ordered some 270gr Buffalo Bore flat-nose to experiment with. These fall in the mid-range of power and bullet wt, but are still pretty hot. I have been practicing with .44 specials, which of course are very mild-mannered. I have also run some .44 mags (Blazer 245gr JHPs) thru the 329....bam!! The recoil is sharp and I get a couple hits on pressure points/contact areas of my gun hand. I'm looking for a PAST shooting glove now, fyi.

I'm loving the weapon and respecting both sides of it....almost exactly like I do my bride, too.


John Havard
07-30-2009, 05:42 AM
Hi Kevin. It was good to see you and your wife at the ETAR event.

Definitely go with the PAST glove. I used one when shooting my S&W 500 and prior to that when shooting my friend's TC in heavy calibers. They make a beneficial difference with heavy/sharp pounders.

I'm shooting handloads of hardcast, gas-checked 250 grain bullets with H-110 powder for just under 1100 fps out of my 329. Definitely not pleasant to shoot but still not as bad as a S&W 500 with short barrel.

Keep practicing with those 44 shorts and you'll be fine. I really like the CT grips for the purpose intended (bear protection) on that particular pistol. However, for handling recoil there are better grip options than the CT. Again, since I hope to never shoot the pistol other than at the practice range I'm sticking with the CT grips.

Good luck in Alaska this fall. We leave on the 3rd of September and I can't wait.

Kevin Dill
07-30-2009, 02:49 PM
Hey there John...twas fun running into you at Denton too. I spent the best part of 2 days just socializing and sharing ideas with like-minded bowhunters. It was great as usual.

I'm searching online for the PAST glove...looks easy enough to find. Regarding 44 loads: I was truly surprised at how nicely the Smith handles .44 specials, and was equally surprised at how quickly and sharply the felt recoil increased when I stepped up to hotter magnum loads. A couple shots and I knew I needed a little protection if I was to keep on firing. I would willingly drop the hammer on the biggest, baddest mag shell made...if it was a case of self-preservation...the heck with a hand bruise. I am already starting to understand that the probable best loads will fall between 250 and 275 grains b-wt, and 1100 to 1300 fps. I definitely understand the need to put repeat shots exactly on target. Controllable power and accuracy...combined with a lot of practice...are what's called for. HEY, that sounds like good archery advice too!

My bud and I fly north on Sept 7...I can really use some wilderness right now.


07-31-2009, 05:41 PM
Read label on box most buffalo bore loads are for Ruger, Freedom Arms and TC ONLY. Anything else and your asking for nasty results. These loads are not made for any of the lite weight revolvers.

07-31-2009, 05:53 PM
Glenn -

Indeed. One needs to read the label. And the manufacturer's description.


Uncle Jake
07-31-2009, 07:42 PM
+1 on moho's advice in regards to the Ti cylinder. 270 gr hand loads that work fine in my dad's 629 WILL NOT function in my 329. Yes, I did have to hammer out the empty case!

But I will very heartily recommend the CorBon 305 gr. FPPN flat nose https://dakotaammo.net/shop/product_info.php?cPath=22_86&products_id=91. This load was specifically designed for 4" barrels, and has flawless function in the 329. And the recoil is not as bad as some other loads.

For goofin' around loads, I use the Winchester brown box .44 Sp 240 gr. http://www.winchester.com/PRODUCTS/catalog/handgundetail.aspx?symbol=USA44CB&bn=11&type=23 at something around 800 fps. Nice, and it would work as well as a .45 ACP in most defense situations.

Good luck in AK, I sure enjoyed having my 329 when I was up there last summer.

07-31-2009, 08:01 PM
I've used the BB reduced recoil 44 Mag load that moho mentioned and their 44 Special Keith load http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=88which is about 1,000 fps in the 329PD. These loads are stout but controllable. Ive also tried a pair of the S&W 500 grips on that gun; it has a covered backstrap & makes it more comfortable to shoot. The one disadvantage is the the rubber grips are 'stickier' than wood and your shirt can hang up on it making it print easier, depending on how you choose to carry it. Regards, - - -