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  #51  
Old 10-09-2015, 10:49 PM
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In 1979, a competitive shooter friend of mine, who was an Elmer Keith devotee, encouraged me to use Elmer's mid-range load of 8.5 of Unique behind a 240 gr LSWC. I have been using it ever since and am a happy camper.
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  #52  
Old 08-07-2016, 01:46 AM
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I also like 8.5 grains of Unique in .44 Magnum. I just tried 7 grains of Green dot behind a 240 grain LSWC today. A nice accurate load. I was very surprised at how well it worked.

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  #53  
Old 08-08-2016, 02:20 PM
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Just picked up a 7.5" Redhawk and came to ask about light to mid-range .44 Mag loads to get started with it.

Glad I saw this thread.
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:11 PM
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A 240/255-grain LSWC and some Unique will sort you out. Start with the starting loads, and run up until you're happy. A 240 @ 1200 is what the original design spec was for, anyway.

A 180 or 200 loaded is handy for plinking, or if you're new to Magnums. Very comfortable. I use Universal, but only because I'm trying to use up my Universal. Data on light lead bullets is kind've light, though.
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  #55  
Old 08-10-2016, 07:22 AM
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It's hard to beat plain old clays for light, soft shooting highly accurate loads in the 44mag. 6.0gr to 6.5gr of clays and most bullets in the 200gr to 260 gr range will provide excellent light loads for the 44mag.

Sighting in a 4x target dot scope on a old 629 @25yds with 245gr "keith" swc hp's. Was aiming at the right target, shot 3 shots and moved the scope over to the right and shot 3 more. Liked where the bullets were hitting so I shot 6-shots @ the left target testing that 6.0gr load of clays with that 245gr swchp bullet.



6.5gr of clays with the lyman 429303 sp bullet. A 6-shot group @ 25yds.



6.5gr of clays with the H&G #142 "Thompson" style 220gr swc. A 6-shot group @ 25yds.



6.0gr of clays with a cramer 200gr wc. Another 6-shot group @ 25yds.



Those are typical groups with light loads in the 44mag using clays powder. Pretty impressive.
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  #56  
Old 08-10-2016, 08:41 AM
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7.5 gr 231 under a 429 303 spire point cast bullet... no GC. Works well in all my 44s. 6 gr in my 44 specials same bullet which weighs about 200 grains

Last edited by Skeet 028; 08-10-2016 at 08:43 AM.
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  #57  
Old 08-11-2016, 02:28 PM
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Have used a little W231 but 2400 is my favorite. Why? it has such a range of capability it can go down to special loads and up to magnum loads, at least magnum enough for my deer and elk hunting. One powder is a fine option to keep in mind. Makes my wandering mind a little more stable when looking at a shelf of powder!
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  #58  
Old 08-12-2016, 05:13 PM
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I have been loading 7.7 gr BE-86 in magnum cases under 240 gr SWC polymer coated Missouri bullets and also 240 gr copper plated Xtreme bullets. This has been very comfortable and accurate to shoot through my 6.5 inch 629 classic and my 8 3/8 inch 629 PC at the 25 yard range.
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  #59  
Old 08-16-2016, 10:05 AM
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I like Trail Boss but only with magnum primers and 90 to 95% case fill. Standard primers and/or low case fills tent to be a little erratic. I've figured out where the base of the bullet will be, cut the case off there and weighed how much trail boss will fit. then I take 90 to 95% of that. I haven't done it, but I've heard that compressed charges are also erratic.
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  #60  
Old 08-16-2016, 10:31 AM
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I have found seating the bullet deeper in the magnum case allows me to enjoy lighter loads . I really like 7.5grs of Unique or 6.5grs of Green Dot / 231/Zip /4.5 grs of Bullseye under a 240-250gr SWC seated to the top of the front driving or even over the shoulder a bit . I just don't care to shoot "special " brass in my 44 magnum when I can use magnum brass and seat the bullet deeper and lighten the load down to special loads . It works for me , YMMV
When shooting " std " 44 magnum loads with the above powders and bullets crimped in the normal crimp groove just 1gr more of powder. You have received many good suggestions , have fun working up your favorite " lighter " loads with the 44 . YMMV

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  #61  
Old 08-16-2016, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonkers View Post
That's not a "light" .44 magnum load, it's a .44 special load.

A "light" .44 magnum load should be 240 grain slug around 1,000 to 1,100 fps! Anything LESS is well down within the .44 Spl range!
Well, I can't say I'd agree with that. Not that I'm any kind of expert, but...

For W231 with a 240gr bullet, 975 FPS isn't "well down within the 44 special range" - its just below the 44 mag range which the Winchester load guide shows as EXACTLY 8.0gr W231 with a 240gr bullet at 1021 FPS for a starting load.

There isn't even any load data in Winchesters online manual for loading a 44 special with a 240gr bullet and W231. The closest thing they list is an even lighter 220gr bullet and it shows a MAX load of 5.8gr running at only 845 FPS.

Also, if you're loading it in a 44 mag case, it would certainly be more incorrect to call it a "hot" 44 special, wouldn't it?

All that being said, what would you call it if not a "light" 44 magnum?

BTW, I'm not saying that there isn't other good valid published load data out there for 240gr bullets and W231 - I'm just referencing the most CURRENT data from the actual powder manufacturer.

As with all things reloading, YMMV.
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  #62  
Old 08-16-2016, 11:22 AM
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Hodgdons current load data for the 44 special show loads using HP-38 for a 240 gr bullet , min 4.2 , max 5.2 . HP-38 and W231 are identical , they represent both companies powder . Throughout their load data they will switch back and forth . Call Hodgdons to verify .

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  #63  
Old 08-16-2016, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboy4evr View Post
Hodgdons current load data for the 44 special show loads using HP-38 for a 240 gr bullet , min 4.2 , max 5.2 . HP-38 and W231 are identical , they represent both companies powder . Throughout their load data they will switch back and forth . Call Hodgdons to verify .
Yessir, it does, and yessir they are. Just as I said, there are other good, valid recipes out there. Just not in the WINCHESTER load manual specifically for W231.

It is also worth noting that the Hodgdon's HP-38 data shows a MAX charge (5.2gr) as having a velocity of 858 FPS. Again, this is below the anecdotal 900-975 FPS range OR the published 1021 FPS from the manual for the "light magnums" in question.

S'all good...
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  #64  
Old 08-16-2016, 01:35 PM
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To make matters worse , that load data in Hodgdons shows that velocity of 858 fps using an 8" barrel test barrel . Drop back to a 6" or a 4" and that velocity really starts dropping back . Skeeter Skelton talked about where they actually cut an inch at a time off a barrel , then recorded the velocity . He showed a loss of about 35 fps with each inch shorter barrel . Using his figures , shooting hodgdons max load data for that particular powder in a 4" barreled gun would result in a loss of almost 150 fps in velocity , maybe more . they used a " one piece " barrel instead of using a revolver with the barrel to cylinder gap to consider . I really like using the Speer loading manual as they use actual firearms (and list what it was ) to develop their load data . I appreciate your posting BC38 , discussion is always good .
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  #65  
Old 08-16-2016, 02:52 PM
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I also never saw the point of using 44sp brass in the 44mag, just put up any 44sp load in magnum brass & call it good. a 240gr bullet @ 900fps in a N-frame is a pleasure to shoot.
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  #66  
Old 08-05-2017, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
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Normally when people post youtube videos shooting their .44 Mag revolver you can see the kick and flip of the gun. When Jerry Miculek shows he can shoot 6 shots at target in 1. sec it looks like it is a .22 revolver. What is the trick? .....strong underarms?
He also has a massive sized hand.
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  #67  
Old 08-05-2017, 01:04 PM
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Good day I have a ruger super red hawk that leads real bad within 2-3 rnds of Mo.bullet 240 gr lrn. Starts at the cylinder and all through the barrel especially the forcing cone. All different loadings of green dot from 7. to over 8 gr Greendot. It seems accurate at 30 yds but leads badly. The forcing cone into the rifling seems to have a copper color in the groves once you get it cleaned. "copper"?

Any thoughts?

Mike
Use some foam bore cleaner, it will remove the copper without any scrubbing.

Below foam bore cleaner in a 1943 No.4 Enfield rifle with a frosted and slightly pitted bore. One shot of foam bore cleaner removed all the carbon and copper in the bore.



More firearms are damaged by improper cleaning than any other reason. And foam bore cleaner greatly reduces the amount of cleaning rod time in the bore.

Spare the rod and spoil the bore.
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  #68  
Old 08-05-2017, 04:02 PM
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Default 44 Magnum light

Use any MAXIMUM 44 Special powder charge load data for the bullets you are shooting in 44 MAGNUM cases with the bullets seated to 44 Mag Over All Length. You will have a mild shooting, low recoil load.

I have done this with several different bullets and powders. The loads have had mild recoil and good accuracy out to 50 yards. Powders I have used include AA #5, AA #7, Unique, and WW 231.
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  #69  
Old 08-06-2017, 12:56 AM
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My go to load for 44 mag is the same as tug700's.

Last edited by Benchrest1; 08-08-2017 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:22 AM
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Don't laugh, but in one of the recent panics I experimented with Green Dot.

Several loads ran well, especially:
LSWC 250 Green Dot GRS 6.4 LO 865 Hi 889 AVG 876 ES 24 SD 8.77
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  #71  
Old 08-06-2017, 11:45 AM
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200gr LRNFP over 5.2gr-5.4gr AA#2 is a great target load too.

Last edited by BC38; 08-06-2017 at 09:24 PM.
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  #72  
Old 08-06-2017, 07:50 PM
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240 plated Campro with 5 grains of Bullseye makes a great load for me these days.
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  #73  
Old 08-07-2017, 01:14 PM
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Elmer Keith wrote that his " gallery " load (target ) was 5.0 grs of Bullseye with his Bullet , 245 gr . I'm sure any 240 gr cast / plated would work just as well.
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboy4evr View Post
Elmer Keith wrote that his " gallery " load (target ) was 5.0 grs of Bullseye with his Bullet , 245 gr . I'm sure any 240 gr cast / plated would work just as well.
That's where I got the load data from and didn't think plated would make a difference. It's a very nice and accurate shooting load out of my SBH. I've tried going up a ways but always come back to 5 grains.

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  #75  
Old 08-07-2017, 07:21 PM
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I have found that the Elmer 5 grain load is more consistent when loaded with magnum primers.
Guess it gives better ignition of that tiny powder charge in that large case.
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  #76  
Old 08-07-2017, 10:47 PM
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I have found that the Elmer 5 grain load is more consistent when loaded with magnum primers.
Guess it gives better ignition of that tiny powder charge in that large case.
I've used both and really haven't noticed a difference. I have way more magnum primers so thats what I use most of the time.
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  #77  
Old 08-08-2017, 08:54 PM
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I went to the range today with my 629 (along with my 627 Pro and Beretta 92) and my chronograph, so I can give you some concrete numbers for you to look at:

Pistol - 629-3 Classic, 6 1/2" barrel
Bullet - Bayou Bullets coated 240 grain SWC
Primer - CCI 350 (all I had on hand)
Case - FC
Powder - 7.1 grains Unique
Average fps - 871
ES - 64
SD - 17
Power factor Avg - 209

These were real pleasant to shoot and shot accurately. Felt recoil was less than the 357 rounds I was shooting today, which were 158 grain Zero JHP loaded with 14.5 grains of Alliant 2400. I'm sure part of that was due to having the full lug 6 1/2" barrel as compared to the 4" flat sided barrel of my 627 Pro, but that load should shoot pretty softly in just about any length barrel 29 or 629.
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  #78  
Old 08-10-2017, 02:17 AM
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New to the 44, why would you not want to shoot 44SPL? I have 100 rounds of HSM 44SPL I picked up on sale to break in a new 629, but will reload mostly. Have dies and 240gr bullets, but no brass yet, figure I will order 500 from Starline... So it's better to load 44MAG brass instead of 44SPL regardless of load (light or std)?
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:31 AM
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78Staff , It's a subject that gets overblown . There really is no problem shooting 44spl in a 44 mag . just like shooting 38spl in 357 magnum revolvers . Everyone talks about the crud ring left behind from spl cases making it difficult to insert 44mag loads .
If you only shoot 44spl's in a range session , just clean the cylinder well afterwards and there is no problem . I use Kroil or Marvel Mystery Oil and a tight patch to clean carbon from the cylinder charge holes . Works every time. If 44spl cases is what you have , load them up and have some fun .

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Old 08-10-2017, 10:23 AM
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Crud rings?? They don't present a problem for me. Not that they can't form but just clean the cylinder. I don't need a thousand 44 mag cases...or 357. I do have more than that in 38 and 44 spl. Have 6 44 mags and 5 357s. And shoot so many more specials in them.

Gotta add..44 sp cases were harder to find but I got 4000 once fired at an auction for 2 cents each. They last as long as 38 sp cases with a bit of care

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Old 08-11-2017, 01:23 AM
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At my range if you want to shoot steel targets you can't use anything with a mag head stamp. So now I use a lot of loads with spl cases.
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Old 10-27-2021, 02:32 PM
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Default .41 MAG LIGHT LOAD

Last night I loaded and shot Model 57-1 4" with : CCI no. 300 LPP, 8gr HP-38, 210gr JHP. No Chrono but very mild , very accurate. Felt like 850 fps. I desire 950 so I may go up to 8.5 gr of HP-38 today.
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Old 11-02-2021, 09:33 PM
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7gr 231 240gr cast 6.5" 629. 857fps 10 shot average.
Accurate and good pin punch.
Jim
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Old 08-26-2022, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDL View Post
I guess I need some new manuals. I haven't started reloading the .44 mag. and I will be getting some new books before I start. I'm looking at an old speer #10 just for grins and most all of the 'mild' loads listed here get to be past max of what that old book says.
The issue with manuals is not PRESSURE, it's the supposed intended use.

In other words most manuals ASSUME when the shooter is using lead they are using dead soft swaged bullets at minimum velocity for bullseye shooting.

There are too many variables for manuals to suggest mid range loads using 240/250 gr hard cast SWC loads.

A mid range 1000 fps 240/250 SWC load is a great range day and general purpose load that no factory offers and no manual wants to do the research to publish.
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Old 08-26-2022, 07:00 PM
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For the past 25+ years my go to load in .44 Magnum has been a 200gr. RNFP cowboy bullet over a charge of 7.5gr. of Unique. I've become so fond of this load that it's the only load I shoot anymore.
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Old 08-29-2022, 07:15 PM
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Here’s my “midrange” 44 Magnum load:

240gr Acme SWC
9gr Win244, 1.61” COAL, Win LP

20” barrel: 1285fps
4” barrel: 1058fps

4” velocity is from a Smith 29-2. 20” is from a Henry All Weather.
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Old 08-29-2022, 10:27 PM
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ďSpare the rod and spoil the bore.Ē
Bigedp51 that made me chuckle.

I like hp38 at 6-6.5gr for heavy 44spl and 7-7.5gr for same load in 44 mag cases with 240gr LSWC.

I for one appreciate using special brass rather than magnum brass when possible for mid range loads. The main reason is that you save a little powder for each cartridge. For example in the roomy 45 Colt case, 6.5-7gr of Solo 1,000 gives similar results to 5-5.5gr of the same powder in a 45 acp case (used in convertible cylinder single action 45) using 230gr Lee TL. The pressure is certainly different, but when itís not hot rodded, itís more economical.

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