Like the others stated check Buffalo Bore, Grizzly Cartridge, and CORBON ammo as another. I used 280gr bonded core soft points from CORBON for my 444 Marlin to take a bison last January, and I'm positive that round would do just fine on big bear.
Although not my first choice(the 444), I'd feel comfortable with Hornady Superperformance 265 gr. ammo. I'd probably limit the kind and distance of the shots I'd take(although that might be the case no matter what gun I'm using to shoot something that wants to eat me :biggrin.
Well. nobody has yet to come here (or anywhere else) to say that the 444 has failed them in this role. We have people who have come here to show the grizzly they have killed in self defense and every time, the 444 has gotten the job done. The Hornady 265 FP has performed admirably for people in this role, although it wouldn't be my first choice. The Hornady 265 FP/Superperformance ammo does have considerably more energy than any other 444 ammo (3300ft/lbs vs. 3000ft/lbs) and it dumps it fast. Results that have been reported is that it has flattened grizzlies with first shot.
If you accept that the 265 Superperformance is up to the task, than about the only two types of factory ammo that I wouldn't use would be the Remington ammo and any ammo using the Speer 270gr bullet. I.E.- Buffalo Bore 270gr Jacketed Flat Nose, Grizzly 275gr Hawk Bonded Core (actually Speer 270gr bullet is being substituted in this round right now) and the 270 grain offerings from Wisconsin, HSM and Georgia ammunition companies. The 270 would make a good elk and deer round, but it is my opinion that it is too soft to rely on for Grizz.
Of the factory offerings, I'd lean towards the cast bullet loads by Grizzly and Buffalo Bore, the Corbon 305gr Penetrator or the Grizzly Belt Mountain Punch. As Buffalo Jake said, the Corbon 280gr Bonded bullet would also be a good choice, but I have not tested with it yet.
As a side note, I'll be posting my most extensive tests yet, in about a month. The test will include all 13 rounds offered at Midway USA.
Bears have always awed me.
But so has the 444.
Bears scare me some too.
Don't think they would as much while holding a good shooting stout loaded 444 with a well made bullet.
I'm sure it'd feel small in my sweaty hands.
But just don't see anything soaking up to much of what its a packing.
Pretty sure Id be fairy safe anyhow with it.
Me shooting out of the truck and all:biggrin:
Sitting on top of a large first aid kit with 91 already dialed on the phone:biggrin:
Be the same if I was shooting a 375 H&H mag too.
All kidding aside,within its range,
The 444 with the right load would be one of my top picks.
If ya go, take us plenty of pics.
And good luck
If handloading, then a 300g barnes buster at full velocity should do the trick. Any bullet that will penetrate 22 gallon jugs full of water should put a hole in any critter you are likely to encounter.
OT a bit but I can't wait for mt_sourdoughs's latest vids.
Cant u get some to load Sierra 300grjsp for u?
I think they bring the message
Verry accurate bullet in my .444ss whith 18" barrel yes i cut it down on both ends and got me a verry handy plumpy jane!!
110yards with 46&47grains of Norma 200 and 46 gr is the keeper!
I have to admit that the 4 shots are with a weaver 1-3x20 scoope on, for testing loads!! (from bench)
best regards Heikki
This handload is not in any reloading manual. This is a load that I developed from scratch. I have used the following reload since 2006; it kills deer, elk, and black bear superbly................
• Remington® Case trimmed to 2.215"
• Remington® 9½ Large Rifle Primer
• 45.0gr H4198 Powder
• Beartooth® 290gr LFNGC (296gr total weight) Boolit .432"
• COL: 2.570"
Please note that my load is safe in both my 1966 444, and 1988 444SS rifle(s). I have used this load for 8 years and it is safe in my gun(s).THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT WILL BE SAFE IN YOUR GUN(S)!I advise you to start at 41.0gr of powder and work up in .5 (½)gr increments.My load IS NOT SAFE if loaded in Hornady® brass!
Shooting from the bench with this load I can place 3 shots into 1¼"at 100yds consistently.
David I have a very simlar load using a Lyman 429650, mine drops a 325gr bollit. Pretty accurate, and packs a punch, don't have any bears around here to try it on, but I wouldn't think it would have a problem taking one down.