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  #1  
Old 09-22-2010, 11:43 PM
pangris pangris is offline
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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Default How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?

First, please let me explain my goal.

I have a D550 and have reloaded a few thousand rounds - 38, 45, and 10mm.

I have come to love the 44 more and more and have a few with bbls between 4" and 7.5".

I shoot a lot of things with relatively high volume and am seriously considering curtailing the collection in favor of shooting the same few guns all the time.

For the purposes of my revolvers, I'm thinking I'd like to reload for my 44's and shoot them rather than my 357's that are currently doing duty as 38s.

Normally when I'm shooting in volume, it is in a class of some sort - I might shoot 1000 rounds in 2-3 days. My goal is to get as close as I can to mastering the double action pull with great accuracy with those light loads.

So, all that said - can I load the 44 to be tolerable for high volume, light loads?

How slow can you SAFELY push a 200 or 240 grain bullet, and if you have a good formula, please share...

My goal would be to have the same or less recoil than a 1911 generates with standard 45 ball ammo.

Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:01 AM
Dragon88 Dragon88 is offline
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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A Trail Boss load with a 200gr bullet would be very, very light. The only load I have in my notes is 6.5gr pushing a 200gr cast FP, 920fps, very light recoil, so-so accuracy. Hodgdon's data goes down to 6.1gr of TB. Getting the recoil level you want should be no problem, especially in your heavier guns. Of course with any light load make sure the bullet actually leaves the barrel, but I had no issues in my 7 1/2" Redhawk.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:14 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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I'm not close to my reloading book right now so I can't get the powder weight, but for light loaded .44 mag I use Unique with a jacketed bullet. Another option would be to use .44 special brass and load up some specials in the velocity range you want.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:34 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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If you really want to shoot a light load in your .44 try using .44 Russian brass, a 200 grain Lead bullet and 4 grains of Unique. It's very accurate from my 29 and there is less recoil then my .38s.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:43 AM
Dale53 Dale53 is offline
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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I use .44 Special Brass with a 200 gr full w/c ahead of 4.0 grs of Red Dot. This shoots at about 800 fps with great comfort and excellent accuracy.

If you want a more common bullet, then a 200 gr RF bullet ahead of the same charge of Red Dot.

You want to be VERY careful about shooting light loaded jacketed bullets. You can get too low with jackets and stick a bullet. This is MUCH less apt to happen with a lead bullet.

Dale53
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:10 AM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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I have a M629 Classic with a 5" barrel. I have shot competition with it and used a 200gr RNFP "Cowboy" bullet over 4.5gr of Bullseye. Gives about 700fps and is super accurate at 25 yards or less.

Dale gives a good warning about jacketed bullets.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:14 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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A 240 grn LSWC over eight grains of Unique has proven to be very comfortable and accurate for me.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:12 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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I shoot a 240 grain cast swc over 7.0 of Unique.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:49 AM
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I'm shooting a 240 LSWC over 5.5 Universal Clays. I have not chrono'd it but extrapolating from load books, it should be around 750 fps. Very, very mild. Also, very accurate.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:52 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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With Trail Boss powder you can produce very mild and accurate loads with lead bullets. Trail Boss has become my favorite powder for use with lead bullets in all those straight walled revolver cartridges such as 45 Colt, 44 Special & Magnum, 357 Magnum and 38 Special.
I am away from home so cannot provide sopecific loads but the Hodgdon website has plenty of data and I believe I use the lower end of their recommended loads.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:19 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trooper224 View Post
A 240 grn LSWC over eight grains of Unique has proven to be very comfortable and accurate for me.
+1 another vg load is the same bullet with 6.0 grs of red dot in mag brass.
pete
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:46 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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GLC1 +1 very good load!
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:03 AM
pangris pangris is offline
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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I'd prefer to say with Mag brass as I'm a simply caveman, but thanks a million for all the confirmation/advice/loads!

Very much looking forward to it.

Paul
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:10 PM
vico512 vico512 is offline
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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Any of you guys worked-up an lighter loads using HP38 (431)?
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:08 PM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLC1 View Post
I'm shooting a 240 LSWC over 5.5 Universal Clays. I have not chrono'd it but extrapolating from load books, it should be around 750 fps. Very, very mild. Also, very accurate.
I've used a nearly identical load in 44 Mag brass with complete satisfaction. I like Universal, think it is very close to Unique in burning rate but a little cleaner.

I recall once reading an article about loading the big 44 with Bullseye which claimed good results. I don't recall quantities and haven't done it myself, but see no reason why it would work just fine and produce some good mild accurate loads with lead bullets.
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:38 PM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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Loaded many thousands of cowboy rounds with Trail Boss and Titegroup, 4.0g with 180-200 grain bullets at about 650fps out of a 4 5/8 barrel. Have loaded .357's down to 2.0g. No experience with low velocity jacketed bullets but getting lead bullets stuck in a barrel with powder in the case is not a big concern. There is a point where some powders like 231/hp-38 don't burn up very well though. I don't know the lower limit but you do have to keep the bullet spun up enough to stabilize it and low velocity means low rpm.
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:58 PM
pangris pangris is offline
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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650 FPS will be even lighter than I'd want to go. I would imagine a 750-800 FPS load will be very easy to manage. I was worried about detonation, etc etc - sounds like there is plenty of experience on here with great suggestions that will allow for a very pleasurable shooting experience.
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:16 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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You can load as light as you want, but you should stay above 600 fps or you might stick a bullet in the barrel. You can look up loads for the .44 special, .44 American, or the .44 Russian and see how they perform. You will get less velocity since you are using a longer case. Trail Boss can be your friend. Look up some cowboy loads for the .44 special. Them cowboys are shooting the weakest loads they can get.
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Old 09-25-2010, 03:40 PM
lscocoa lscocoa is offline
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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I don't know how fast they are , but my favorite plinking load is 4.5 gr. of titiegroup in a.44 mag. case with a 240 gr. wadcutter.It's accurate and pleasant to shoot in my 4'', 8 3/8'', and 10 5/8'' .
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:43 PM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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tell me more about your WC mold.I am looking for one right now.lee quit making their 208 gr wc which was a great bullet.
thanks
pete
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  #21  
Old 09-26-2010, 12:37 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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4.5 to 5 grains of Bullseye I think is about what you may be looking for. It sounds like you are looking for something lighter than the standard target load of 8gr of Unique or Universal.
I never use other caliber brass either in my 44 mags. They will shoot a light load just as well as a 44 Special case.

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Old 09-26-2010, 02:04 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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In a magnum case I load 7g W231/HP38 under a 250g cast SWC for @ 900 fps.

You can shoot those all day long.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:02 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vico512 View Post
Any of you guys worked-up an lighter loads using HP38 (431)?
vico, yes! And, it's the answer of "my formula" for the original question too:

I use a 225gr RNFP and 5.6grs of W231/HP38. I figure this is going around 700fps or so in a 44 Magnum. I load the same load in 44 Special brass for about 800fps.

This is the exact same load I load in 45ACP brass (except with a .452" 225gr RN cast bullet), so I can unequivocally state that the 44 load is very similar to a 45ACP!

Of course, in an N-frame Smith, it's making less recoil than a 45ACP, because of the heavier pistol the Smith is...

Makes double-action shooting absolutely a breeze and fun. You can really concentrate on the sights and forget about recoil and muzzle blast.

My only complaint about it is that 231 can be pretty smokey, especially with cast bullet lubes on humid days...
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:11 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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I don't know if this will help you or not, but I ask that question of a powder manufacturer (BULLSEYE) when I was trying to work up a load for a 100gr. bullet. This is what the guy told me. You can use the least amount of powder that you want as long as you can get the bullet out of the barrel without sticking it. So, I was shooting a 38 special 100gr. DEWC using 2.5grs. of BULLSEYE. IT WOULD POUND TACKS......................CookE
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:40 PM
buckeyeshooter1 buckeyeshooter1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pangris View Post
First, please let me explain my goal.

I have a D550 and have reloaded a few thousand rounds - 38, 45, and 10mm.

I have come to love the 44 more and more and have a few with bbls between 4" and 7.5".

I shoot a lot of things with relatively high volume and am seriously considering curtailing the collection in favor of shooting the same few guns all the time.

For the purposes of my revolvers, I'm thinking I'd like to reload for my 44's and shoot them rather than my 357's that are currently doing duty as 38s.

Normally when I'm shooting in volume, it is in a class of some sort - I might shoot 1000 rounds in 2-3 days. My goal is to get as close as I can to mastering the double action pull with great accuracy with those light loads.

So, all that said - can I load the 44 to be tolerable for high volume, light loads?

How slow can you SAFELY push a 200 or 240 grain bullet, and if you have a good formula, please share...

My goal would be to have the same or less recoil than a 1911 generates with standard 45 ball ammo.

Thanks!
I'm shooting 4.5 grains of unique as a cowoy load. That is as light as I think I can safely go.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyeshooter1 View Post
I'm shooting 4.5 grains of unique as a cowoy load. That is as light as I think I can safely go.
What weight of bullet?
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:47 AM
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Default How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?

When you consider that the "low end" is .44 Special, you have options.
I load 5.0 grains of UNIQUE,[.44 Special/.44 Magnum] with an estimated velocity of 600 feet per second.
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:22 PM
elundgren elundgren is offline
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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How long do cases last with these light loads? It would seem that most of the wear is from the dies.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:52 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elundgren View Post
How long do cases last with these light loads? It would seem that most of the wear is from the dies.
Yes, IF the dies are very tight and the chambers are very loose, there can be a wear issue on the brass, but the relationship in my pistols (5) and the older set of dies and pistol in this caliber which I learned on 35 years ago was just fine. I think the tight dies/loose chamber is the exception rather than the rule. And, if you run into it, with these light loads, I'd just start "half-sizing" the brass.

This is like what can be done for a rifle when you don't have neck-size dies but you want that effect, and you just run the cases in deep enough to get them to re-insert back in the chamber, but you're not full-length resizing them. This also re-sizes enough of the neck to give you good bullet tension, but keeps better alignment because part of the case is still close in size to the diameter of the chamber... This works good on a revolver, as long as the various chambers in your cylinder are pretty much the same. If you have one tight chamber, you could mark it, but with two tight chambers, doing this will leave you with a "four-shooter..."

Without this problem, and because I have many guns in this caliber that all eat my reloads, I prefer full-length sizing. I've got some cases with 20 reloadings on them, and they're fine. The place I wear out first is the mouth of the case from the constant bell-mouth & crimping (which works the brass even more than re-sizing).

Another issue which can develop from shooting these light loads is carbon smudging/fouling/burning on the OUTside of the case. These loads (worse the lighter you go) can develop so little pressure that they don't cause the case to swell up and seal off, so some of the burning powder gets between the case and the chamber wall and makes a hard, burned-on carbon smudge. This is unsightly, and if not cleaned sufficiently could scratch the sizer die (in theory -- I've always cleaned and lubed the cases enough to not let this happen, so that tidbit is not from personal experience). My recommendation is to just get some citric acid and wash the cases in that for 5-10 minutes, and the brass will come out shiney as new.

One last caveat about these light loads. I think it was said before, but when shooting JACKETED bullets, you must stick to higher loads to prevent sticking a jacket in the barrel. (The core often keeps on going and hits the target giving the shooter no clue the jacket has stuck...) With cast bullets there is no issue, because they are homogenous, and the other nice thing about cast lead is that it's lower bore friction means you can load them down lower than jacketed anyway and still get them to clear the end of the barrel.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:01 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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Default Lightest .44 mag. load

The lightest load (at least from felt recoil) I have ever shot is a 200 gr. cast bullet and 4.3 gr of 700x.
This from Hodgdon and shoots very well from a 6" barrel.

Jeff
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:14 PM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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I'd say a 200 grain bullet with some loading of Trail Boss would be your Huckleberry...
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:44 AM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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Good morning
3 grains Unique and a .430 round ball. That is with a 6 " barrel. It may get stuck in a 8 3/4 barrel as I did not have one to try it with.
But 5 grains makes a good 25 yard thumper.
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:25 PM
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How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded? How "light" can the 44 Magnum be loaded?  
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The last couple years I've found regardless of caliber or powder, any of my own big bore revolvers are accurate enough and very pleasant throwing 200-230 grains of lead downrange at 750-950 fps.

I've come to prefer Trail Boss, Tite Group, HP38 as they are readily available in my area.

While not conclusive, it appears my own eye/hand/wobble adds more variation in group size than the recipe does, at least at short-middle ranges. I was striving to make low-spread standard deviation loads, until the club chronograph was blasted by some idiot.

I've quit buying Unique, VV and Clays for various reasons. Still have a variety of other powders on hand as well.

Been trying out SR4756 in 38. No conclusion yet. The only auto pistol round I enjoy loading is the 45 acp.
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
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What weight of bullet?
200 grain lead
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:08 AM
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two loads come to mind. 5.5 grains of bullseye and 6.5 grains of 231 both were pushing a 240 lswc out of winchester cases. lit the fire with winchester standard primers-no longer made! Back in the day before glasses I have a 25 yd. target (standing two hands) with 12 rounds touching using 231. How I miss those days!
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1911, 357 magnum, 44 magnum, 45acp, 650, bullseye, chronograph, colt, fouling, m629, n-frame, redhawk, russian, universal, wadcutter, winchester

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