44 Magnum Ammunition
I don't think anybody in the world knows more about penetration on big game with .44 Magnum and .45-70 rounds than Randy Garrett, the founder and boss bullet-pusher at Garrett Cartridges. Those are the only two calibers he produces ammo in, and he knows them the way only a true specialist can. A trip to his web site can teach you tons about going after - or defending yourself from - big, tough, dangerous game, and the tools to do it with. If you own a solid .44 Mag revolver, you owe it to yourself and your gun to check out his loads, like the one shown: a 310-grain SuperHardCast Hammerhead that clocks 1,020 feet per second from a 4? revolver barrel. And, he doesn't just make hard, hefty slugs and drive `em fast; the velocities he loads to are carefully selected to provide optimum penetration and bone-busting power.
- John Conner - American Handgunner - January 5th, 2012
Once again I feel compelled to write you a short note about your 310 grain Hammerhead in .44 Magnum. I use this load in my 9.5" Super Redhawk during gun season for whitetail deer hunting. I harvested this doe at 98 yards with a single shot and she never took a step. The round broke a rib entering, plowed a 3/4" hole though the lungs, shattered the bottom of the spinal column, and broke another rib on the exit. Blood loss was extensive, indicating your sharp-edged .320 meplat cuts through flesh efficiently in addition to creating a large permanent wound channel. The exit hole in the skin was exactly the same shape and diameter as the entrance hole, indicating no bullet upset or deformation.
I know that whitetail are hardly a challenge for your .44 loads, but I have had bad luck in the past using 240 grain JHP which do not penetrate after striking bone. I can count on the Garrett 310 grain Hammerhead to get the job done on any size whitetail even when encountering multiple heavy bone. I'm finally getting low on my original box and will be placing an order shortly. I just wanted to thank you again for making the best .44 Magnum hunting cartridge in existence - there are no equals to Garrett Ammunition.
- Ed Mullen
"My bear hunt went great, and thanks to your amazing 310gr Hammerhead ammo and my Ruger Super Blackhawk, I bagged my first Michigan black bear with a handgun!! This is a 4 year old boar weighing in at 275lbs. I hunted behind some great hounds up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and shot this beautiful bear about 20yds straight up. Bullet entered the just behind and below the left elbow and exited clean through the upper right shoulder. Quick, clean and efficient!! My guide was truly impressed with the bullet and performance, told me it was the best handgun performance he has ever seen in his 24 years of guiding for bear behind dogs."
- Derek Wikarski, Roseville, MI
"I used the .44 mag Hammerheads I recently bought from you in my S & W 629 (6.5" barrel) to take a wild boar (Russian) on a hunt in Georgia. The first shot, taken at 25 yards with the boar coming straight at me, hit him high in the chest (too high for a kill) and penetrated all the way through and out the upper back; knocked him down momentarily but did not kill him. Second shot was taken with the hog at a full run; it hit him broadside, breaking both legs and again penetrating all the way through the hog. This immobilized him and allowed me to then move in and put him down with a kill shot. I'm quite sure that a lesser round would not have given me the bone breaking penetration needed to take this hog down! Thanks for the help!"
- Jeffrey J Pipe
"Nobody knows more about .44 Magnum and .45-70 rounds than Randy Garrett of Garrett Cartridges. He's spent a lifetime refining the science of optimum penetration with those calibers, and they're the only ones he loads. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the National Marine Fisheries Service exclusively carry Garrett's Hammerhead rounds for protection from coastal grizzly attack."
"In the 1950s I fell into the trap of believing all .44 Magnum loads had to be loaded full-bore, and my standard load was Keith's 250-gr. cast bullet over 22 grains of #2400; it was a powerful load then and still is. It also provided enough recoil back in my early days to slow down my learning curve when it came to shooting big bore sixguns. As I, and likewise my early .44 Magnum Smith & Wessons and Ruger Flat-Tops got older, I looked for a less stressful load. Using 10-gr. of Unique and either a 260 or 295 grain hard cast bullet I came up with a much easier shooting, but still powerful loading at approximately 1,050-1,100 fps depending upon barrel length. At that time I thought someone should offer this type of load over the counter for non-handloaders. That someone is Randy Garrett."
"Randy offers three levels of .44 Magnum loads, all assembled with his own bullet design he calls the Hammerhead. Ammunition for the .44 Magnum is normally loaded to an overall length as specified by SAAMI to fit all cylinders and rifle actions (which require relatively short cartridges). This wastes the advantage of the long cylinders in revolvers. Randy designed his bullets to take full advantage of the available space. His bullets are characterized by long noses with a very broad .320" meplat or a flat nose. Randy also uses an alloy with a minimum amount of antimony to give a very hard bullet but one that will not shatter on impact. The 310-gr. Super Hard Cast Defender Hammerhead is rated at 1,020 fps from a 4" barrel, 1,100 fps+ from long-barreled .44s, and is an excellent choice in all sixguns, including the lightweight S&W 329PD. For those who wander away from the beaten path this is an excellent choice for self-defense against predators no matter how many legs they may have. For hunting, it should also work well on deer, hogs, and black bear at reasonable distances. This may well be the best idea ever offered in .44 Magnum ammunition."
"Garrett does not try to be all things to all people as he offers only two calibers with his custom handloads; .44 Mag and .45-70. There is no finer ammunition available anywhere."
"What Randy Garrett doesn't know about power and penetration would fit in a .22's hollowpoint, and he puts it all into his Garrett Cartridge Hammerheads. You'll find more about Garrett's game loads for the .44 Magnum round on Web Blast, but just in case you contemplate defending yourself against dirtbags, Dodge Power Wagons, small to medium dinosaurs or the Devil himself, you'll want to check out Randy's mighty .44 Mag Defenders."
- John Conner, American Handgunner, March/April 2010
"On a long scouting hike made recently to gain familiarity with a piece of high-mountain elk country, "heavy on the hip" would translate into "that big gun stays home." For this walk in the wild, the Smith & Wesson 329PD was perfect only 31.5-ounces loaded with six 310-grain SuperHardCast Hammerhead bullets at 1,050 fps. Garrett Cartridges calls this load the Defender, and with good reason. Penetration in Sam's Bullet Box, my own testing device, tendered deep-seated confidence that no bear born of sow would stop one of these "slugs" directed to its broad pate."
"Randy Garrett has spent the past 30-years perfecting ammunition for only two cartridges, the 45-70 Government and the 44 Magnum. His big time 310-gr 44 Magnum Hammerhead at 1,325-fps lends confidence from the topknot to toe but with wrist-wrenching recoil from the lightweight 329PD. The answer was Garrett's 44 Magnum Defender load with its 310-gr Hammerhead bullet at 1,020-fps from the 4" barrel of the S&W 329PD. Tested in Sam's Bullet Box, Defender bullets penetrated like King Arthur's sword through putty."
- Sam Fadala, GUNS Magazine - 2009 Special Edition
"I would like to thank you for such incredible ammunition!
Last hunting season I took a wild boar with my .44 Mag. with some commercial ammunition and the bullet fail to stop the boar and it took about 4 hours to track and find this animal (and about 2 more shots). After skinning the boar we found the first bullet stuck in the leg bone, it did not penetrate to the heart or lungs. Last weekend I took my Ruger Super Redhawk with two boxes of your 330-GR SUPER-HARD-CAST GC LONG-HAMMERHEAD hunting to a private ranch in Moreno Valley California and after stocking a big pig for about 30 minutes I took a shot and this hog was down!!! I was very surprised how powerful this ammunition is. The pig was about 350 lb and the shot broke his right leg bone, penetrated the vitals (heart and lungs) and exited through the left leg bone shredding it into pieces. Now thats stopping power!!!
Thank you very much for such incredible ammunition. I will never use anything else in my handgun for hunting."
- Daniel Brighina
"GARRETT 310 DEFENDER AMMO: Using his 310-gr Hammerhead bullet, Randy loads them to just over 1,000-fps in a 4" revolver. With a heavy bullet, this is still a very powerful load and will give deep penetration. It was proven long ago bullet weight and bullet construction are the key factors in penetration, not muzzle velocity. So what we have from Garrett Cartridges is just about the perfect ,44 Magnum load for relatively light-weight , short-barreled sixguns. Not only did Garrett come up with an excellent load, he also named it appropriately calling it "Defender Ammo." We are not talking about what is thought of as defensive ammo for use in man-made jungles, but rather relatively easy controlled but powerful ammo for use outdoors. The Garrett Defender Ammo really has two uses - hunting and defense against anything trying to take a piece out of your hide. This does not preclude its use for either four-legged or two-legged critters. As a hunting load it is certainly adequate for deer-sized game, black bear and should be just about perfect for close-range hog hunting." "...the Garrett Defenders might well be the perfect choice for deep cover hunting of anything inclined to bite back."
- John Taffin, April 2007 GUNS Magazine
"Randy Garrett's .44 Magnum loads and the Ruger .44 Magnum pistols are a marriage made in heaven for those who need sheer power and penetration, and of the three buffalo stompers he sells in that caliber, the 310-gr SuperHardCast Hammerhead Defender Ammo running through a 4" barrel at 1020-fps, offers 80% of the penetration of the full-power Hammerhead rounds at 1325-fps at relatively close range. The load combines excellent penetration and bullet weight retention with quicker recovery and follow-up shots, and at close ranges with large animals that's important in a defensive round."
- Denis Prisbrey, HANDGUNS 2007 BUYERS GUIDE
"The 44 Magnum cartridge was big news at its introduction in 1956. It propelled a 250-gr bullet at 1300+ fps, far more potent than anything else available at the time. These figures sound so quaint now compared to the 454 Casull, 475 and 500 Linebaughs and 500 Smith & Wesson cartridges, all capable of generating twice as much horsepower. But for many of us, nuclear levels of revolver performance are neither necessary nor manageable. All we really need is ammo that will do the job with the guns we have. No telling who was the first sensible champ to recognize in the lowly 44 Magnum the solution to the problem. JD Jones may be the real culprit but Randy Garrett was also on the case early on. Both rightly recognized that the 44 Magnum loaded to sensible pressures with 300 to 325 grain bullets, was a serious cartridge, and kept the venerable 44 Magnum in the hunt in the face of more formidable developments. Owners of countless 44 Magnum revolvers thank you, whoever you are. Not content to lounge on his laurels, Garrett has introduced an updated version of his +P Long Hammerhead Ammo. Otherwise identical to the original, the latest iteration sports gas-checked bullets to combat leading that occasionally occur even with the best bullets. Fourteen hundred fps is cooking for a 330-gr cast bullet. Unless a revolver has perfectly sized throats and slick bores, the heat, pressure and gas leakage can cause barrel leading. Nothing can wreck accuracy quicker. Nothing stops the problem better than gas-checks. Plenty accurate before, the ammo will keep producing good groups. Testing in a stock 7" inch stainless Ruger Redhawk produced some outstanding performance. One six shot group landed in 1" while another had five more or less in one hole with the sixth about an inch out due to the excitement and amazement of the shooter (not your blind contributing author). Garrett bullets are hand-cast, water-quenched with alloys tailored to give maximum resistance to shattering and deformation. A lot of trouble but it makes for a superior bullet. Bullet-to-bullet weight variation is typically +/- " grain. Long Hammerhead Ammo is suitable only to Dan Wesson and Ruger 44 Magnum double-action revolvers since it works at 43,500-cup. For the S&W and Ruger Single-Actions, the standard Hammerhead 310-grain Ammo, working at 38,000-cup is best. Both sell for $70 per 50, a true bargain for hunters who have trekked thousands of miles for the shot of a lifetime or outdoorsman who ventures into bear country and may depend on this ammo for safety and preservation."
- Hamilton Bowen, American Handgunner 2006 Annual
"Not long back I made a quick trip to TN to hunt hogs with a guy who advertises with us in Primitive Archer. Naturally, I had to use a stickbow to whack my hog, and it was super. But Harold Wiggins went with me. You might remember that name. He went with me on my bear hunt years back when I first used your loads in my .45-70. He shot a .444 on that hunt, and it worked reasonably well with some Nosler handloads I fixed up for him. Anyway, he didn't want to use the .444 on the hogs; wanted to use his .44 mag handgun. We were up at my farm a few weeks before the hunt burning some .44 powder, and he was discussing what load he was going to use. I handed him six rounds of the Garrett 310-gr Defender Ammo, and they went into practically the same hole from his Super Redhawk! He scrounged six more for the hog hunt. Didn't need but one! Man, that round whacked a big ole TN boar that went a bit over 300. The hog didn't go more than 30 yards. And talk about a blood trail! If one had been needed, there it was. What a super load. Thanks."
- Tony Kinton , personal letter email dated 5-14-06
"I have seen the tracks of this big boar in a draw only a couple hundred yards from my hunting camp off and on for over a year. When it has been handy I have baited strategic areas with corn but he was never seen. One morning about 45 minutes before sunrise, after a rain, I headed over to check the draw while my hunting buddy Rich Lucibella (publisher of S.W.A.T. Magazine) was cooking breakfast. I had looked outside and it just seemed too good, the wind would be in my face and the glow of a soon to rise sun would be at my back. I had grabbed up one of three guns in camp loaded with your 330-gr +P Long Hammerhead Ammo. Most of the time Rich and I both carry custom long cylinder Blackhawks, mine a Bowen and his a Gallagher, but this morning I hadn"t put my Bowen on yet and grabbed my Dave Clay custom takedown Marlin. This is the same gun pictured and discussed in the Guns & Ammo article on heavy 44 loads. As I approached the draw, I spooked five whitetail deer that naturally had to run into the draw. I knew these deer would alarm anything in the draw so I held my position for three to four minutes before proceeding. When I got where I could see where I needed to see in the draw (still a half hour before sun-up) the deer were level with me on the other side just browsing. This may have been a part of a whole lot of things gone right for the hogs undoing because as I watched the deer, the hog just appeared about seventy yards away. In an instant the front sight was on his shoulder and in another instant a Garrett 330-grainer was on its way (kind of like a Hallmark card: "When you want to send the very best"). The 330-grainer hit him right on top of the front sight and away he went. I walked to where I thought he had been and on the light colored ground I could make out quality blood so I headed back to camp to get Rich and let him know what I was up to. When we got back to the blood trail twenty minutes later it was getting close enough to sun-up for pretty fair light. You would have to see the blood trail to believe it. This boar covered about 125-yards spraying blood three to five feet out of the off side on every bound. That is until he ran out of blood and fell over dead in a clearing. The shot had centered the near shoulder and exited just behind the off shoulder and coming out about three inches lower than the entrance (I was shooting somewhat downhill), the only bone hit were ribs on both sides. The bullet trashed both lungs and went thru the top of the heart. The picture of the heart isn"t real clear as to what happened but it is good evidence that this shape of bullet pulverizes flesh in front of it to a diameter of up to about three quarters of an inch. Folks that think this bullet shape just punches a 44 caliber hole need to quit looking at entrance and exit wounds in tough hides and study this picture. Even makes them bleed like nothing else except maybe a broadhead. If heavy bone is struck it will of course also shock the crap out of them and cause other complications but if you only hit meat the thru and thru core sample will make them bleed like nothing else. This hog was over 6-feet long nose to tail and would have weighed 350 plus. He didn"t have the longest teeth I have seen but maybe the thickest. Look at the picture and compare the thickness at the bottom of the lower teeth to the barrel on the rifle. It was no mistake having a rifle built specifically to shoot your 330-grainers. Please keep making them!"
- Ashley Emerson
"When I stop and think of the dozen or more different guns I have hunted with in just the last year and the fact that I got this many pictures of hogs killed with your 330s in that custom Bowen revolver, I start to realize how much of a favorite it is. How about this? All four of the hogs pictured were one shot kills. Apparently I did hit them good but only one of them wasn't on the move. Often hogs take some extra killin' and some times are unimpressed with seemingly good hits even with rifles. Hogs punched thru the chest with even .375 H&H and .470 Nitros have not immediately reacted to being dead, (ask me how I know). Because of this I have grown very confident in the Garrett 330 as the ultimate in what can be done with a lead alloy cast bullet load in the long cylindered 44 Magnum. Accuracy, power and reliability unsurpassed by any other factory or hand-load ammo I have ever used."
- Ashley Emerson
I dont intend to handload for this Bowen custom gun, and I already had my mind set on the Garrett 44 Mag 330-gr +P Hammerheads for regular carry. Recoil ranged from very mild with the 210-gr Winchester Silvertips to hells-a-poppin with the Garrett Hammerheads. Randy Garrett warned me that his loads would wake up my Redhawk, and they did. No handgun is ideal for heavy bears, but he tells me his Hammerheads hurt even more in front of the gun than they do behind the gun. If thats true all I need is time to aim; the rest should be a knockout. Those SuperHardCast 330-gr +P Hammerheads, by the way, are built just for the Ruger double-action 44 Mags; the longer Redhawk cylinder allows a longer (heavier) bullet to be seated farther out in the brass case than would be possible in other revolvers, which means more energy while maintaining safe pressures, and the strong Ruger can shoot them all day long, which is more than I can do. With a hard alloy, wide meplat and heavy-for-caliber weight, this bullet is designed for deep penetration. The best accuracy of the bunch was a bonus.
- Denis Prisbrey, HANDGUNS 2006 ANNUAL
"Since the 1990s Randy Garrett has been producing a 330-grain SuperHardCast Long Hammerhead at 1385-fps for the long-cylinder 44 Magnums. Custom gunsmith John Gallagher introduced me to it several years ago. I have found that if you run into John out hunting, he will likely have a cylinder full of Garrett's 330s in his custom Ruger Bisley. When Hamilton Bowen went hunting up in Alaska last year, he was camping out in brown bear country. At night he slept with a Redhawk on a lanyard. No, it wasn't a .475 or .500. It was, in fact, one of his 4-inch Kodiak conversions in .44 Mag loaded with Garrett's 330s. I've been so impressed with the additional performance afforded by having a .44 that works with this type of ammo that I now have two custom Bowen Blackhawks and a takedown Marlin rifle specifically built to chamber the Garrett 330."
Comparative Wet Newspaper-Penetration Test
Garrett 330-gr.......4" revolver: 32"...18" rifle: 33"
Buffalo Bore 340-gr....4" revolver: 28"...18" rifle: 23"
"Randy Garrett has for years specialized in high-performance .44 Mag and .45-70 ammo. All of the hard-cast bullet loads he sells are loaded with bullets he's hand-cast himself out of molds he designed with an alloy made to his specifications."
-Ashley Emerson, GUNS & AMMO, June 2005
"If you want a steamroller punch, Randy Garrett's 310-grain 44 Magnum Hammerhead would be your bullet of choice. Garrett's bullets have the broadest meplat in the industry. If you are not familiar with the term 'meplat,' it is a measurement of the flat striking surface at the front of the bullet. Garret's 44 Mags will handle anything on the North American continent."
- Glen Voorhees, Gunweek.com
"Your heavy bullet ammo has made the .44 Mag. a real cartridge again and is the stuff we recommend unequivocally to our clients."
- Hamilton S. Bowen
"In keeping with its company philosophy that penetration's the ideal, Garrett offers two hard-cast thumpers for the 44 Mag. The first is a 310-grain SuperHardCast Hammerhead with a .320-inch meplat, good for all 44 Magnum revolvers and TC Contenders. Advertised muzzle velocity from a 7 " inch barrel is 1325-fps, which is remarkably close to the 1321-fps average we got from our 7 " inch Redhawk. Garrett's 330-grain is for Ruger Redhawks and Super Redhawks. It's a beast, faster and, of course, heavier than the 310-grainer. The company claims a muzzle velocity of 1385-fps (and an awesome 1400 ft/lbs). Out of our Redhawk it averaged 1392-fps. Those 330s were very accurate from our particular gun, although it's tough to shoot photogenic groups with a load of this magnitude (we can honestly report that the Garrett 330s are the heaviest recoiling 44 Mags we've ever experienced). Both the 310s and the 330s were remarkably consistent, with a standard deviation of 16-fps and 12-fps, respectively. Both loads cost $65 per box of 50. Steep, yes. But if you want to play around in the high end of the 44 Mag field, these things will deliver. Texas big-bore revolver authority Ashley Emerson tells us the 330s are terrific medicine for monster hogs. We believe him."
-GUNS & AMMO, October 2002
Here is a picture of a Zebra Stallion I killed while hunting in Africa recently using a Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter and your 310 grain Hammerheads. I took 14 animals with a handgun but this Zebra is one of my favorite trophies. I shot the Zebra from 89 yards (laser ranged) and he went down very quickly. My PH, Bobby Hansen, couldn't believe the complete penetration and quick kill from a 44 Mag. on an animal as tough as Zebra." "I fired one shot and moments later Bobby said, "he's down". I said, "I know", then in disbelief and with a very surprised look he said, "No! He's Down!" like I didn't understand. I had to leave the unfired rounds with him when I left; he carries a 44 Mag. as his sidearm while guiding and quality big game ammo is tough to get in his neck of the woods. Thanks for making a bullet tough enough for any task."
-Gary Smith, President, HandgunHunt.com
"...I literally chased the ibex for two days and after running faster and further than I thought I still could, I got a good sight picture and trigger break as he trotted by at about 60-yards. This shot went through the lungs and sent him staggering. I closed to 30-yards while he went maybe three and put him down with a second shot through the shoulders. The gun is a beautiful Bowen custom long cylindered 7 1/2 inch Super Blackhawk. The ammo is your 330-grain +P Ammo. This load goes over 1400-fps in this tightly fitted gun. The Garrett 330-grain +P Ammo is the best defensive load I can imagine for a Redhawk in brown bear country."
"...my Ruger 44 Magnum Hunter put all six rounds into one ragged hole at 25 yards, with Garretts very fine 310 grain load And at 1377 fps average from the 7.5 inch barrel...and over 1300 lbs of muzzle punch...this is a big game load supreme even from a handgun."
- Paco Kelly ("The Hunter 44", 09-01. SIXGUNNER.COM)
"In spite of the fact that recent technical developments within the ammunition industry have allowed the development of high-performance handgun loads with expanding-form bullet designs that will upset effectively and dramatically at the relatively slow velocities traditionally associated with pistols rather than rifles, serious handgun hunters who pursue large and potentially dangerous game still have need for the bone-breaking, deep penetration capabilities of hard-cast, nonexpanding solid lead bullets." "The acknowledged leader in the modern design of such bullets and loads is the small firm of Garrett Cartridges. Its tidy line of high-performance flatnose, weight-forward Hammerhead 44 Magnum handgun ammo (and 45-70 loads for current production rifles) represents the present state-of-the-art in this area."
"Bullet design and production is the key to the Garrett approach. Unlike all other manufacturers who offer cast bullet ammunition, all Garrett bullets are his own design, hand-cast from his own special, proprietary high performance alloy. All commercial cast bullets from other manufacturers are cast by automatic casting machines that will, in general, allow an acceptable product rejection-rate percentage only with high antimony alloys."
"Garrett believes that high-antimony alloys are far too brittle for use against really heavy game and that high-antimony alloys tend to cause bullets to break when the inherent strength of the alloy is exceeded. By comparison, Garrett's low-antimony alloy is far less likely to fracture when its inherent strength is exceeded. Instead, it simply deforms modestly. The Garrett antimony content is 2.5%, notably less than the six to 12% antimony content commonly used in commercial castings. Plus, Garrett's bullet alloy is arsenic-enriched to enhance hardening. The alloy yields an outstanding 25-Brinnell rating with extremely low fracture potential." "The design of the Garrett bullet is also a key performance aspect and has the added benefit of allowing Garrett to effectively specify and restrict the guns in which his loads may be used. The Hammerhead concept is a weight-forward design and puts a substantial percentage of the bullet's weight forward of the crimp groove. This allows relatively shallow seating of a heavier bullet, which in turn maintains a larger case capacity and keeps pressure restrictions from becoming acute while developing a notably higher velocity than is possible with conventional-design "weight-rearward" bullets."
"Turning to the Garrett 330-grain 44 Magnum load, the advantages are even clearer. The additional 20-grains of weight is carried entirely in the nose, making it .050-inch longer than the 310-grain version. This permits Garrett to offer the load as a "+P" item because it is too long to function in standard length cylinders such as found on S&W revolvers and Ruger Super Blackhawks. Consequently, given the 454 Casull-grade strength of the Ruger double action mechanisms and their .050-inch longer cylinder, Garrett worked the pressure level of its 330-grain version up to 40,000-psi. This remains within the performance limits of the Ruger Redhawk and Super Redhawk and is the most powerful load available for the 44 Magnum cartridge." "I've used Garrett's heavy 44 Magnum loads for special purpose handgun hunting (as well as having used the Garrett 45-70 rifle loads) where serious penetration was required since he first entered the market in 1988. I've watched the evolution of the product with considerable interest. These are powerful, accurate handfillers, and the one time I tried to check the wound channel with a Garrett load it zipped through five 12-inch, 10% ordnance gelatin blocks put end-to-end."
"Garrett says that "invariably calibers are defined by the bullets they push, and our SuperHardCast Hammerheads are simply without equal in the realm of cast bullet ammunition." That's hard to dispute."
- Dick Metcalf (SHOOTING TIMES, April 2001)
"Randy Garrett of Garrett Cartridges doesn?t diversify. He is old fashioned and selective, offering exactly two loads for sixgunners in only one caliber, .44 Magnum. For several years Garrett?s offering has been rated as one of the best for big game hunting. This load consists of a 310-grain SuperHardCast Hammerhead bullet at 1325-fps for use in all 44 Magnum revolvers. This load has a worldwide reputation for use on big and dangerous game. Garrett has been developing a new +P 44 Magnum load and it is now in production. Featuring a 330-grain SuperHardCast Long-Hammerhead at 1385-fps, this load exceeds SAAMI specs and is for use only in Ruger Redhawks and Super Redhawks. In my custom 4-inch Ruger Redhawk, the Garrett 330-grainer clocks out at 1263-fps. This sixgun has been round-butted and is a very easy packin? powerhouse that would be most comforting to have in close quarters with big nasty stuff, especially when loaded with Garrett?s hot load. My hunting Redhawk has a 7-" inch barrel and Leupold scope. Using this combination, the 330-grain slugs clock out at 1372-fps and group into slightly over 1-inch at 50-yds. This is the ultimate in power for a 44 Magnum sixgun."
- John Taffin (AMERICAN HANDGUNNER, November/December 2000)
"Garrett's hard-cast factory load has quickly become my favorite factory hunting load in 44 Magnum caliber...."
- Sheriff Jim Wilson (Shooting Times, 3-2000)
"When it comes to premium hunting loads for the 44 Magnum and 45-70, Randy Garrett is the world's specialist. Garrett loads are designed around Super-Hard-Cast bullets that are remarkable for their ability to penetrate game from stem-to-stern, break bones and deliver jacketed bullet velocities and accuracy. This year, Garrett has redesigned the whole bullet line to improve what was already some of the finest big game ammunition ever assembled. The two new 44 Magnum loads consist of a 310-grain HAMMERHEAD slug at 1325 fps and a 330-grain LONG-HAMMERHEAD at 1385 fps that is loaded for the stretched cylinders of the Ruger Redhawk and Super Redhawk revolvers. Garrett's new HAMMERHEAD bullets feature a weight-forward design and a broad meplat that improves penetration while opening a larger wound channel. Is it any surprise that Garret ammunition is carried by the Wyoming Grizzly Bear Team?"
- Holt Bodinson (Gun Digest 2000)
"You've made a believer out of me. Last September I was hunting Alaskan grizzly with some natives when one of them wounded a male that took off in the brush. Four of us went in after him, the other 3 had rifles and due to the circumstances of the moment, I was armed with only a S&W 2.5" 44 Magnum loaded with your rounds. I was the fourth guy back, and you guessed it, he circled back around us and did a full charge from the rear at about 15-feet. I turned and shot, hitting him in the upper shoulder, blowing out his lungs and lodging just under the hide on the far side. It knocked him down, giving me enough time to empty my remaining rounds to keep him down. I know these loads were a real life saver!"
- Jeff Newville (Personal Letter)
"When fired from my 7" Super Redhawk the 330-gr LONG-HAMMERHEAD clocked 1,369-fps. That's some serious energy. It is also accurate. As you might expect, recoil is prodigious so it's more a test of the shooter's ability than the ammo. Groups under an inch at 25-yds are easily achieved if you do your part. Serious handgun hunters have taken Garrett's ammo all over the world and it provides the accuracy and penetration needed to anchor anything appropriately hunted with a handgun."
- Charles E. Petty (American Handgunner, MAR/APR 1999)
"The only 44 Mag round I'd feel comfortable firing at a large, angry bear is the Garrett 310-gr hard-cast. This round has brought down charging grizzlies, and I think it offers the minimum ballistics necessary for that warm, fuzzy feeling of being well defended when you're in bear country."
- Shane Wrixon-Belcher (Handguns, 2-99):
"I tested Randy Garrett's excellent new hunting ammo, known as HAMMERHEADS. These bone-busters feature 310-gr and 330-gr hard cast bullets at 1325-fps. Test firing the new Garrett HAMMERHEADs at 50-yds was accomplished with a 7.5" Freedom Arms 44 and a Leupold 2x scope, while the 7.5" Redhawk wore a Leupold 4x scope. The HAMMERHEADs both came in at 1400-fps with 1 3/8" 50-yd groups in the Freedom Arms gun, and 1385 and 1355 with groups of 1 5/8" and 2 1/8" in the Redhawk, which had a horrendous trigger pull to its disadvantage. Garrett offers these 44 Mag loads as their only handgun loads, and they are for serious hunters who desire power and superior penetration."
- John Taffin (American Handgunner, Jan/Feb 1999)
"The resurgence of the 454 Casull, 50 AE and various 45 Colt max loads has caused many to question the heretofore top-of-the-heap power status of the great 44 Magnum. But fans of the 44 Magnum need worry about their favorite no longer. Garrett Cartridges has come up with two new HAMMERHEAD loads that'll provide all the punch any responsible adult could reasonably ask of any hand cannon."
- Payton Miller (Guns & Ammo, 12-98)
"Garrett Cartridges doesn't offer an extensive lineup of ammo. In fact, it offers just two, but both are the most effective hunting loads in the whole world for these two cartridges." "The Garrett loads are hot, fast, hit like a train and penetrate as well as anything I have ever used in a 44 Magnum. The other Garrett load is a 415-gr hard-cast flatnose in 45-70. Penetration is superb, this load has been used on Cape buffalo and big bears, as well as its most natural use on elk, moose, and such. If you use either of these cartridges, try Garrett ammo. It's impressive."
- Colonel Craig Boddington, USMCR (Safari, Jan/Feb 1998)
"A few years back it was impossible to find factory loads suitable for hunting anything other than deer-size game with the 44 Magnum. All of the 240-gr soft-points and hollowpoints are for deer hunting. For use on bigger and tougher game, bigger and tougher bullets are needed. Garrett Cartridges led the way with its 310-grain hard-cast bullet load at 1320-fps. This is an excellent load, suitable for big critters such as elk and moose, or smaller heavy muscled game such as wild hogs that require deep penetration."
- John Taffin (Big Bore Sixguns)
"The times that I have used the Garrett 44 Magnum hunting load, I have taken two feral hogs, a mule deer, three whitetails, two javalinas, and numerous Rio Grande turkeys, with it. It is capable of breaking big bones and driving on to exit the game, thereby leaving a good blood trail should a bit of tracking be required."
- Jim Wilson (Shooting Times Gun Guide 1998)
"For the biggest beast I would go with the very hard, cast lead 310-gr slugs loaded to over 1300-fps by Garrett Cartridges."
- Finn Aagaard (American Rifleman, 6-96)
"For those who want to try a cast bullet load but don't hand-load, there is none better than the ammo provided by Garrett Cartridges. If you test this Garrett ammo on your next trip to the range and on your next hunt, it will give you a true indication of the real hunting potential of the 44 Mag six-gun."
- Jim Wilson (Shooting Times, 3-96)
"For shooters wishing to try a heavy 44 Magnum hunting load, Garrett's SUPER-HARD-CAST 310-grainer is ideal. It is field proven to be among the best 44 Mag loads ever assembled."
- Holt Bodinson (Gun Digest, 1996)
"I'd use the Garrett 310-grain hard-cast rather than load my own for such possible situations (grizzly attack). I've put a lot of faith in this round in the past, and it would certainly be my choice for a bear confrontation."
- Larry Weishuhn (Handgunning, Nov/Dec 1995)
"Speaking of heavy, hard-cast bullets, there's a source of 44 Magnum ammo with such bullets; it's Garrett Cartridges. At least for the big 44, you don't have to hand-load to have optimum big-game hunting ammo; this stuff is so good, reloaders probably can't improve on it anyway."
- John Wooters (Petersen's Hunting, 3-95)
"Fired from a scoped 7.5-inch Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter, the 310-gr Garrett load ran 1303-fps, and the center-spread for 5-shots at 25-yds was a skimpy 0.537-inch!"
- Dean Grennell (Gun World Annual, 1994)
"Of the various 44 Magnum loads I have used while hunting, the hardest hitting has been produced by Garrett Cartridges. I have shot a considerable number of thick-skinned, heavy-boned, wild boars with this 310-gr hard-cast bullet load, right though the shoulders at varying distances, and always the bullet exited on the opposite side. Not many calibers or bullets will live up to duplicating those results. Based on my experience with the Winchester Black Talons, PMC Starfires, and Hornady XTPS, there's no doubt they will do well on deer-sized animals. However, were I to hunt elk or potentially dangerous game with the 44 Magnum, I would opt for the Garrett hunting load."
- Larry Weishuhn (Handgunning, 11 -93)
"Garrett makes one of the most accurate, hardest hitting 44 Mag loads I have ever shot. For those wanting to hunt elk, black bear, moose or large wild boar with a handgun, this is the load to use." "This 310-gr bullet gives the deepest penetration of any 44 Magnum bullet I have field tested."
- J. Wayne Fears (Guns & Hunting, 7-93)
"Where penetration is vital, these tough bullets get the job done."
- Sam Fadala (Guns, 5-93)
"The Garrett 44 Magnum load has routinely demonstrated the fracture of both shoulders on heavy elk. Garrett's bullets are cast and hardened for maximum strength."
- B. Anderson (Gun-News, 4-93)
"Until the advent of Randy Garrett's cartridges, I would have been skeptical about the 44 Magnum's ability to deliver a deeply penetrating, bone-crushing blow to an animal as massive as a big bear. Not any longer. From the 5.5" Redhawk, the big 310-grain SWC bullet tore into the saturated phone books with obvious authority. The bullet's exceptionally hard alloy helped it retain its shape even after penetrating a full 26" of my test medium; it would have progressed even further but was stopped by a solid wood backstop. The bullet was so unfazed by its test, that it could almost be reloaded and used again." (Mr. Steele also reported that the 375 Holland & Holland produced only 12" of penetration with Winchester 270-grain factory-loads). "The bullet sliced through the dense newsprint as if it were tissue paper. Likewise, I recently shot a 300-pound boar hog right between the eyes with this load from a distance of about 20-feet, and the bullet ended up buried in the left ham. That's penetration!"
- Kevin Steele (Guns & Ammo, 4-93)