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Old 04-24-2011, 10:42 PM
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Default 44 Special Loads

Looking for 44 spl. loads that a 6" barrel S&W model 629 classic likes. I like to shoot light to moderate loads at an indoor range. Want to get away from Factory Ammo.

What powders and bullets are suggested. Thanks

Gunney
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2011, 11:06 PM
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I use 7.5 grains of Unique with a 240 grain SWC. This gives me 990 fps from my 4" 629; accurate and easy to handle.

I also have tried 5.4 grains of 231 with the same bullet and got 734 fps, but not as accurate; I think I might have been better off with a softer bullet in that load.

The Unique load is as low as I have any interest in going with .44 Special for use in a Magnum. If I want to drop back below that I prefer to go with .38 Special.
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:33 PM
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Good info. Thanks
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:01 AM
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I agree with cjw3. Skeeter Skelton's old load of 7.5gr. Unique is excellent. Also 8.0 gr. PowerPistol if you got it. Universal Clays is also good. A 240-250 gr. SWC around 900-1000 fps will get your needs met without registering on the Richter Scale. Good luck.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:50 AM
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Default just a touch lighter makes the difference

I like the same load, but I'm happier with about 6 1/2 to 7 gr's of Unique over a 240 gr LSWC, espacially considering what you said about a milder round for an indooe range. By the way, does your range allow reloads that aren't factory? I passed on joing a new range that opened in my area becaus they don't allow anything but "factory" reloads. Flapjack
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:13 AM
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My favorite .44 Special range load is a 200gr LRNFP bullet over 6.2gr (1.36cc) of IMR's Trail Boss. Using Winchester brass, a CCI LP primer, 1.440" COL, and a firm roll crimp, this results in a very accurate and very comfortable 840 fps from my 4" S&W M691. YMMV.
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:53 AM
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For indoor I alway liked 5.0 gr. Bullseye under a 200 gr. RNFP.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:51 AM
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Only load that I remember loading for my 6.5" M29-2 and CA 3" Bulldog is the 7.5 gr Unique with a 240 LSWC. Been my standard load for years.

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Old 04-25-2011, 08:42 AM
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If you want some real nice mild loads then the best powder is Trail Boss with either the 200 or 245 gr, lead bullets. The Hodgdon website has the reloading data. I used their recommendded starting load with a 245 gr LSWC for a mild and accurate load.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:22 AM
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One of the most accurate loads ive used is 7.5 gns of Universal clays, I use to use Unique but Universal gives me better accuracy and burns cleaner than unique does. I get one inch groups from a rest at 25 yds if i do my part.
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingflapjack View Post
By the way, does your range allow reloads that aren't factory? I passed on joing a new range that opened in my area becaus they don't allow anything but "factory" reloads. Flapjack
ATTABOY, FLAPJACK. POWER TO THE PEOPLE ! ! !
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:06 AM
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For indoor shooting, I drop back to 6.6-grs of Unique and the 250-gr Keith bullet. It is probably just a bit stronger than Winchester factory ammunition, as far as velocity. Maybe 50 FPS or so. I don't have my data handy so cannot say exactly, but it is the most accurate 44 Special load I have found out to 25-yds. Probably also beyond that, but 25-yds is it at the indoor range.

Since I have several 44 Specials, I particularly like the lighter load because I believe it is probably less abusive in the Model 696. So this one load works well in whatever gun I want to shoot.
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:14 AM
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My favorite 44 Special load is a Speer 240gr SWC and 8.0gr of WSF with a WLP. This is my most accurate load in any 44 Special (favorites are Lipsey's 4 5/8" Ruger flattop Blackhawks), equally very well in the 624 and does well enough in my 4" 629-4. By well enough I mean it will shoot 3.5" groups, sometimes less, at 50 yards if you can see open sights well enough. It burns cleaner than Unique.
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  #14  
Old 04-25-2011, 10:27 AM
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The old standby here is Lyman 429421 on top of 6.5 Unique. Use it mostly in a Charter Arms Bulldog, but also as plinking and practice load in the magnums.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:00 AM
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Many thanks to all for your suggestions

Gunny
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  #16  
Old 04-25-2011, 09:04 PM
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7.0grs Unique, 240gr Berry's plated.
Kevin
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:32 PM
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Here are the milder ones my pre-24 and the NM Blackhawk like, in no particular order:

RCBS 44-250 and 4.0 grains of Bullseye
RCBS 44-250 and 4.7 grains of Bullseye
RCBS 44-250 and 5.0 grains of Bullseye
RCBS 44-250 and 6.8 grains of AA #5

Lyman 429421 and 6.9 grains of Unique
Lyman 429421 and 7.1 grains of Unique

Lyman 429421 Hollow Point and 7.2 grains of Unique
Lyman 429421 Hollow Point and 4.7 grains of Bullseye

Lyman 429383 and 4.7 grains of Bullseye
Lyman 429383 and 5.0 grains of Bullseye
Lyman 429383 and 6.9 grains of Unique
Lyman 429383 and 4.2 grains of Clays
Lyman 429383 and 7.8 grains of SR-4756

Your mileage may vary in your gun(s). These all shoot 3" or less at 25 yards off a sandbag for me.
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  #18  
Old 04-26-2011, 12:01 PM
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240 gr bullet ---- 5.5 W-231
240 ---- 4.8 Bullseye
240 ---- 8.0 Power Pistol
200 gr bullet ---- 5.5 Red Dot
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  #19  
Old 04-28-2011, 02:07 AM
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any one got a good load for 180gs LTC ? I see allot of 240 and 250gr can you get 2 inch groups at 25 yards with 180gr ?
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:50 AM
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I know I am probably beating a dead horse with this one BUTT:

4.5 - 5.0 gr PB with FILLER (you pick: grex, used polishing
compound, etc.) and a 240 SWC.

This has never failed me in both .44 Special and Magnum
cases. All holes touching at 25 feet.

Shot this in 6" 629 and all 3 624's. Works.

Takes some extra effort to load and is a minimal (700 fps)
load but I guess I lucked out with my bores.

PB is an overlooked powder. Extemely clean.

Last edited by Nemo288; 04-29-2011 at 03:58 AM. Reason: status change
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  #21  
Old 04-29-2011, 09:31 AM
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Like many, I have adopted the Skeeter Skelton loading of 7.5 grains of Unique under a cast 250 grain cast SWC bullet for most of my .44 Special shooting. It seems to run from 900 to 975 fps depending on my barrel length, 3, 4, 4-3/4, 5, 6-1/2 and 7-1/2 inches.

For lighter paper punching that is more pleasant at an enclosed indoor range, I often duplicate the ballistics of the old traditional .44 Special factory ammo, which was a 246 gr RNL bullet at about 700 fps, +/- depending on barrel length.

To do this, I load either my homecast Lyman Number 429421 SWC 250 grain bullet or the soft swaged Speer 240 grain SWC bullet over either 4.0 grains of Bullseye or 5.5 grains of Unique, both for about 700 fps. I think I get better accuracy with the Bullseye at this velocity/pressure range. They shoot better than I can hold out to 25 yards with your best bullets.

I like Winchester primers but have used Federal, Remington and CCI if that is what I have on hand. I have mostly Winchester cartridge casings, some Federal and just a small sprinkling of R-P. The R-P's have suffered both case mouth and body length splits with very few shots and reloads, so I don't buy their brass or ammo anymore.

Last year I bought 1,000 Starline .44 Special new casings. I haven't loaded any yet but they look very nice, are quite uniform and seem to have an excellent reputation.

If things get TOO quiet at the range, lighten things up with some of Elmer Keith's Memorial Elk Killer rounds, which you can assemble with any quality .44 Special case, a card cast Lyman 429421 250 grain bullet and 17.5 grains of H-2400 powder. This boomer runs at about 1,200 fps and produces a glorious fireball, the thunderbolt of Thor's hammer and concussion for bystanders that will feel familiar to men who served in the artillery branches of our armed forces.

This range of loadings will give you cartridges suitable for everything from paper to people, cardboard to coyotes, from mice to moose.

I love the .44 Special round and the S&W and Colt guns made for it. Shooting it in .44 Magnum sixguns even widens it's usefullness.
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  #22  
Old 04-29-2011, 12:55 PM
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My loads for my 6" 624 and one for a 3"

Rem. SJHP 180g 231 6.7g Mag primer 935fps
Rem. SJHP 180g 2400 14.5g Std primer
Missouri Bullet Lead FPRN 180g 2400 13.0g Std primer
Missouri Bullet Lead FPRN 180g 231 6.5g Std primer
Missouri Bullet Lead SWC 240g 2400 13.0g Std primer
Rem. SJHP 210g 2400 13.5g Mag primer For 3"
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  #23  
Old 04-30-2011, 12:36 AM
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This is what I load for my 696. For my gun, it is very accurate,

4.5 grains 700-X
200 grain Xtreme copper plated bullet
CCI LP primer
Starline brass
Average velocity from my 696 with a 3 inch barrel = 774 ft/sec
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:25 AM
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Try 7.0 of 231 in a mag case with winchester primer. Mild and accurate.
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:20 PM
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My two 44 Special loads are pretty mild by most standards, but then I have 44 Magnums for the heavy stuff.

For the older guns I don't want to abuse I load a 245g-250g RN cast bullet over 4.8g of Red Dot. I gives about 750 fps from a 4-5 inch barrel, which duplicates the original 44 Special's factory load.

For general purposes, i.e. plinking and shooting paper, I load Berry's 240g FP, seated to crimp over the shoulder, over 6.2g of HP-38. This gives 824 fps from a 4" barrel and right at 850 fps from a 5" M24-3. I think of it as my 45 ACP Ball duplicate for the 44s. (smile)

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  #26  
Old 04-30-2011, 01:37 PM
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Not a mild load, but the most accurate for me: 8.3 grains Herco w/240 lead swc. A little more punch than the 7.5 grains Unique. I got a group with all 6 touching at 40' offhand at the indoor range with this load fired through my 2nd model HE. I stopped at 40' because that was the limit of my eyesight.
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Old 04-30-2011, 02:35 PM
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Go to Hodgdon's site and look up TiteGroup. sing it instead of Unique. Cleaner burning. i use 4.6 grains under any lswc bullet.
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:02 PM
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Default 44 Special Load

This is what I shoot, 8.5 grains of Power Pistol and a 245 Grain Frontier Bullet.
I like the Frontier because it is a hardcast bullet with lead plating , not soft swaged like berry's or Raniers .
It also has a cannelure, a couple of local shops carry them they are made in South Africa and Black Hills Shooter supply distributes them.
My load is made for my Ruger Flattop and should not be shot in a Smith 696 or a Charter Arms.
It is a bit hotter then the books recommend but shows no signs at all of pressure in MY gun.
I really like Power Pistol, it is inexpensive and I use it a lot where I used to use Unique, it is slightly slower and seems to be cleaner to me.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PattonTime View Post
I like the Frontier because it is a hardcast bullet with lead (you mean copper?) plating , not soft swaged like berry's or Raniers .
It also has a cannelure, a couple of local shops carry them they are made in South Africa and Black Hills Shooter supply distributes them.
I really like Power Pistol, it is inexpensive and I use it a lot where I used to use Unique, it is slightly slower and seems to be cleaner to me.
Cool beans. I had never heard of the Frontier and will look into them and Power Pistol.

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Old 05-05-2011, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeerSpy View Post
any one got a good load for 180gs LTC ? I see allot of 240 and 250gr can you get 2 inch groups at 25 yards with 180gr ?
I have tried the Speer 180gr swaged cowboy bullets in a Horton 3" 624 using WSF, Power Pistol and Green Dot. The Green Dot was the best and would come close to your requirements, but maybe I didn't hit the right combo with the others, usually solid performers for me in about anything I load. I didn't try Unique; although it is widely regarded and admired as a general purpose powder, it is no longer my first choice 'go to' powder. I would consider trying the 180s with Trail Boss for a light 44 Special load. I would likely start at the max listed load level with Trail Boss (! the only powder I will do so !). I've just had such reliable performance from the 240 LSWC Speers (at well above target level) loads that I haven't seen a need to use up the rest of the 180s, even for my 6" 24-3. But, always the load tinkerer, perhaps it would be fun to work up something to use them up in the Ruger Lipsey's 4 5/8" Flattop Blackhawks.
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2nd model, 44 magnum, 624, 629, 696, bullseye, cartridge, colt, crimp, m29, model 24, model 29, primer, remington, ruger, sig arms, skeeter, skelton, starline, universal, winchester

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