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  #1  
Old 06-03-2012, 10:29 PM
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Default Need help with .44 Mag. load Data

What powder's do you use for .44 Magnum and what min/max do you have for them. The data for .44 Mag. is all over the place. Hodgden's site lists a start load for Titegroup that one of the load manuals I have says is way over Max. I have H110, Red Dot, Titegroup and Unique! I loaded some test rounds tonight with a 240 gr. jacketed Soft Point. I used 23.5 grs. of H110 (smack in the midpoint of the min/max (23/24 grs.) and 7.3 grs. of Red Dot (middle of the 6.9 to 7.7 grs. data that I found for this bullet), which the data is all over the place on this powder. I have Red Dot, Bullseye, Unique and H110 that I want to use up......I also have Titegroup but I think the others are better suited to .44 Mag!

I know that H110 is for high power loads and must be used within the 23/24 min/max that the data states. I am more interested in mild "target" loads, as I do not hunt, and want to enjoy shooting my .44 I really am looking for some confirmation on the Red Dot load , as this load data seems to be very inconsistent around the web.

I will be shooting these primarily in my 629 V-Comp and, to a lesser extent in a Winchester Saddle Ring Lever Action Carbine!

Last edited by mosquito; 06-03-2012 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:38 PM
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Your right on with both Red Dot and H110. I too use Red dot for target and fun shooting and save the full house H110 loads for hunting and serious shooting.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:46 PM
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John,

Are the loads I listed within what you load for Red Dot/H110 and a 240 JSP? I would appreciate any data you could give me!

G
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:46 PM
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I've only loaded jacketed bullets (Hornady XTP 240 grain) with 10 grains of Unique. Well, actually, I did load a few with 11 grains, but like the 10 better. I have been loading AA#9 lately, but have only used it with 240 hard cast (18.5 grains seems to be just right for me).

If you are going to get new powder, try 2400, H110 or AA 9 for full magnum. If you want to use what you have 10 grains of Unique should do well with what you want to do. If you want even more mild, go down to 7 grains of Unique. But I got a lot of suit in that low pressure loading.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:52 PM
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T&T,

Thanks....I do have 4 pounds of H110 BUT, I like loading the smaller volume powder as you can get a lot more loads out of a pound than you do with H110. I have 5 pounds of Red Dot and 2 pounds of Unique that I want to use up!

G
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:59 PM
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Alliant shows a pretty soft load for 240 grain LSWC bullets.



Alliant Powder - Reloader's Guide

and a fairly soft load for 240 grain GDHP bulletes.

Alliant Powder - Reloader's Guide

I use 9.5 grains of Unique in my S&W 329PD
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:20 AM
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And each gun has its own personality.
For example, my 4" Model 29 is at its best with a 180 grain bullet pushed by Green Dot, of all things.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:43 AM
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I'm just looking for light to medium plinking loads that I can use the powder I have, with!

G
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:32 PM
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For medium power 44 mag loads (357 mag for that matter) I really like Unique with either a 180 gr JHP, 240 gr JHP or 240 gr SWC(moly-coated). I lighten the full power charge by 10-15% and I get a comfortable but not wimpy magnum load.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:07 PM
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I've always felt the penny pincher school of thought of maximum rounds per pound to be a poor one. there are better places to save money, like casting your own bullets from wheel weights and or range lead.
cast between 200 - 240 grains over Unique makes for some good loads, useful for far more than just punching holes in paper. 240 on up over 2400 or H110 are certainly business class loads which will pretty much eliminate most of your desires for anything jacketed save a few 180 - 220 grain hot rod hollowpoints.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:29 PM
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I "plink" and everything else with the same loads, it works out better for me to shoot the load I would need to shoot, if I really had to shoot it! In my 44 mag's I use a 240gr HCLSWC over somewhere between 10 and 11 gr of Unique with a visit to a Lee Factory Crimp Die, with good results. I know some folks that load the same combo to about 6 grains, but there can be smoke, and at that level a 44SPL would seem to be a better fit to me. Go safely, Regards, Flapjack.
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Old 06-04-2012, 02:44 PM
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I really like 8.5 grains of Unique with a hard cast 240 grain SWC in a 44 mag case and Winchester LP primer. It makes a great range load and would do well for most other needs at reasonable distances.
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Old 06-04-2012, 02:59 PM
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I've been having fun shooting 6.5 grs of Red Dot behind a cast 200gr RNFP in my 4" 629. That is my current favorite plinking load. My supply of RedDot is left over from the 1990's. In the past I have shot 7.5 grs of RedDot and a Speer swaged 240 gr bullet without any problems. Data for RedDot in a 44 mag does vary I agree and the loads I shot were from my loading log book entries in the 90's. The source escapes me but was probably from an older Alliant booklet. These are my plinking/target loads.

In my 6 1/2" 629 I shoot 23.5 grs H110 and a 240XTP for a deer hunting load. If memory serves me it is danderous to shoot a reduced load of H110 in a 44 mag. so I definately would steer clear of H110 for a target load. A dozen or so of these H110 loads are all I care to shoot in one range trip.

Last edited by mchech; 06-04-2012 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mchech View Post
I've been having fun shooting 6.5 grs of Red Dot behind a cast 200gr RNFP in my 4" 629. That is my current favorite plinking load. My supply of RedDot is left over from the 1990's. In the past I have shot 7.5 grs of RedDot and a Speer swaged 240 gr bullet without any problems. Data for RedDot in a 44 mag does vary I agree and the loads I shot were from my loading log book entries in the 90's. The source escapes me but was probably from an older Alliant booklet. These are my plinking/target loads.
I used to find myself gravitating to similar loads ... 200 at around 700 to 850 FPS ... pleasant little bunny buster. Then I started comparing it to other calibers ... My god if that isn't a ballistic dead ringer for a 45 auto.
ifn's ya think about it, and wander to similar conclusions as I have ...well ... your welcome to use it as the same excuse I used to smoke it past the missus
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venomballistics View Post
I've always felt the penny pincher school of thought of maximum rounds per pound to be a poor one. there are better places to save money, like casting your own bullets from wheel weights and or range lead.
cast between 200 - 240 grains over Unique makes for some good loads, useful for far more than just punching holes in paper. 240 on up over 2400 or H110 are certainly business class loads which will pretty much eliminate most of your desires for anything jacketed save a few 180 - 220 grain hot rod hollowpoints.
My reasons for using certain powders have nothing to do with Penny pinching and everything to do with enjoying shooting a specific gun, MORE! Hot, high power loads over H110 are not what I am looking to shoot all the time at the range. Since I have a ton of other powders, I want to see what works best, FOR ME, and that is why I have asked for some advise as to what others are using. As for casting my own, not interested in breathing in lead or spending the time to do it. I actually spend more time reloading than I even do shooting....both of these are things I really enjoy! The rest of the time is left for my woman, the kids and riding our Harley's. To each his own!

G
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquito View Post
My reasons for using certain powders have nothing to do with Penny pinching and everything to do with enjoying shooting a specific gun, MORE! Hot, high power loads over H110 are not what I am looking to shoot all the time at the range. Since I have a ton of other powders, I want to see what works best, FOR ME, and that is why I have asked for some advise as to what others are using. As for casting my own, not interested in breathing in lead or spending the time to do it. I actually spend more time reloading than I even do shooting....both of these are things I really enjoy! The rest of the time is left for my woman, the kids and riding our Harley's. To each his own!

G

interesting .... totally missed that 200G - 240G cast over Unique part didnt ya ... as for the lead exposure thing ... check out what primers are made from ... something about lead styphnate. thoughtcha might like ta know
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:51 PM
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interesting .... totally missed that 200G - 240G cast over Unique part didnt ya ... as for the lead exposure thing ... check out what primers are made from ... something about lead styphnate. thoughtcha might like ta know
I didn't miss anything and I know what primers are made of!
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venomballistics View Post
I used to find myself gravitating to similar loads ... 200 at around 700 to 850 FPS ... pleasant little bunny buster. Then I started comparing it to other calibers ... My god if that isn't a ballistic dead ringer for a 45 auto.
ifn's ya think about it, and wander to similar conclusions as I have ...well ... your welcome to use it as the same excuse I used to smoke it past the missus
I cut the Reddot back to 4.0gr to loop the 230's out of the 45's a 1911 & 625. Makes big holes in the paper, rings the gong and darn easy to reload. Gosh I like to make big holes in stuff!!!!

PS... the missus loves to thump stuff with the Kimber whilst I prefer the 625 or 629. After 3 spinal surgeries I don't chase brass
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:54 PM
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I load 240 gr JHP using H110 for full tilt stuff (23.8 gr), which is plenty hot and will cycle a Desert Eagle. I also load the same bullet with HS-6 (14.5 gr) which is comfortable in my wheel guns. The H110 is fun, but soots up the cases quite a bit. Have some test rounds loaded with Titegroup starting with 9.0 gr., hope to try them next time out.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirty gary View Post
I load 240 gr JHP using H110 for full tilt stuff (23.8 gr), which is plenty hot and will cycle a Desert Eagle. I also load the same bullet with HS-6 (14.5 gr) which is comfortable in my wheel guns. The H110 is fun, but soots up the cases quite a bit. Have some test rounds loaded with Titegroup starting with 9.0 gr., hope to try them next time out.
I also loaded some test rounds tonight with 9.5 grs. of Titegroup!

G
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alde View Post

I really like 8.5 grains of Unique with a hard cast 240 grain SWC in a 44 mag case and Winchester LP primer. It makes a great range load and would do well for most other needs at reasonable distances.
I use that exact same load with outstanding accuracy.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:28 PM
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Out of the powders mentioned by the OP I've had the best luck with Unique. i've tried Red Dot but didn't really like it, I got a fair a mount of leading from it and I wasn't really pushing the bullets very fast. The Unique on the other hand worked great and I had no leading issues.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:49 PM
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Lightbulb

For target shooting, 7 to 8 gr. of Unique makes a nice mild load that is quite accurate, and won't beat up you or your revolver. I've loaded well over 100K of this load. I like it.

If you're shooting beyond 50 yards, you may want a bit more velocity, for flatter trajectory.

For 240 gr. bullets, I know you can safely go to 10.0 gr. of Unique.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:25 PM
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Thanks guys for all the input! I just got back from the range and tried 3 different loads all with 240 gr. JSP bullets!!

23.5 grs. of H110 (a friggin cannon with a muzzle flash that could blind a welder) This would be a great load for taking down a Dinosaur! Fun, but not what I was looking for!

9.5 grs. of Titegroup (manageable but a little snappy)

7.3 grs. of Red Dot (very comfortable to shoot, I liked it the best!)

Haven't tried the Unique yet!
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:36 AM
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I,ve tried several different powders in looking for consistant mild loads
for my 4" 29-2 with a cast 250 gr SWC. I quickly gave up on Unique
and I believe 231 is great for loads a little hotter, at mid-range level.
In my gun with a 250 gr cast SWC 6.0 grs Red Dot = 834 fps, 6.2 grs
Bullseye = 829 fps,and 7.1 grs Titegroup = 954 fps. The Bullseye load
was more accurate in my gun.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwslate View Post
I,ve tried several different powders in looking for consistant mild loads
for my 4" 29-2 with a cast 250 gr SWC. I quickly gave up on Unique
and I believe 231 is great for loads a little hotter, at mid-range level.
In my gun with a 250 gr cast SWC 6.0 grs Red Dot = 834 fps, 6.2 grs
Bullseye = 829 fps,and 7.1 grs Titegroup = 954 fps. The Bullseye load
was more accurate in my gun.
Are you using regular or Magnum primers? Those loads seem light......I am sure that they are great to shoot. I was worried about going too light. Again, I am shooting a 240 gr. JSP so I need a little more powder for the Jacketed as well as the slightly lower weight although, the weight is not that much different to effect the charge.

Glenn
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquito View Post
Thanks guys for all the input! I just got back from the range and tried 3 different loads all with 240 gr. JSP bullets!!

23.5 grs. of H110 (a friggin cannon with a muzzle flash that could blind a welder) This would be a great load for taking down a Dinosaur! Fun, but not what I was looking for!

9.5 grs. of Titegroup (manageable but a little snappy)

7.3 grs. of Red Dot (very comfortable to shoot, I liked it the best!)

Haven't tried the Unique yet!
Why don't you buy a 357mag or 44spl instead? I don't understand why somebody buys a 44mag and then only wants to shoot it at sub-44spl levels. Is is just for bragging rights?

Be careful with Titegroup - it hides in the case. And cross-check that 9.5gr load with Hodgdon as that is getting up there.

There are a lot of powders that will work for mid-range loads. Almost anything considered "high-performance" for 45acp/9mm/40S&W is "mid-range" for 44mag. If you glance at Hodgdon's load data you'll see what I mean.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
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Why don't you buy a 357magI have one of them too! or 44spl instead? I don't understand why somebody buys a 44mag and then only wants to shoot it at sub-44spl levels.Because I want to and I can! Is is just for bragging rights?I won't even respond to this comment!

Be careful with Titegroup - it hides in the case. And cross-check that 9.5gr load with Hodgdon as that is getting up there.Hodgden's data, which I am very aware of states 9.0 to 10.0 grs. for this bullet! My load is in the middle!

There are a lot of powders that will work for mid-range loads. Almost anything considered "high-performance" for 45acp/9mm/40S&W is "mid-range" for 44mag. If you glance at Hodgdon's load data you'll see what I mean.
There is always one in the bunch! My responses in RED! I'm sorry that I asked a question that you do not agree with. I guess I, and all the other guys who responded about light loads are not up to your professional shooting standards!
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:39 PM
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IMO 44 magnum is just that, magnum. My 30 year old RSBHB is the most accurate wheel gun I have with 240 or 310 grain cast, Federal 155 LPM and H 110 / W 296.
Plinking is for 38 Special and perhaps medium .357 with 158 grain and Unique.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
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IMO 44 magnum is just that, magnum. My 30 year old RSBHB is the most accurate wheel gun I have with 240 or 310 grain cast, Federal 155 LPM and H 110 / W 296.
Plinking is for 38 Special and perhaps medium .357 with 158 grain and Unique.
The thread didn't ask for opinions on what anyone thinks about shooting a light load in .44 Magnum! It asked about powder charge recommendations, for a variety of powders! Just because one may have a .44 wheel gun does not mean that you have to shoot high power cannon loads all the time. I load different "loads" for different applications, all the time, in (and for) different guns!
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:04 PM
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I've loaded 7-10 gr of unique under a 240 gr lswc in various guns for years with good accuracy and mild recoil.I've also shot thousands of full house 2400 loads through them. As far as " I only shoot 44 mag loads in a 44 mag". That's nice.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:02 AM
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If you want good plinkers, Unique is tough to beat. More range htan the RedDot. I have moved away form H110/W296 but for max effort loads. 2400 has greater load range & only 50fps shy of the best H110 loads. TG, not ever in a case that large, never. With Unique, 7gr-10.5gr max w/ a 240gr LSWC does just about anything you want done w/ a 44mag.

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Old 06-07-2012, 03:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquito View Post
Are you using regular or Magnum primers? Those loads seem light......I am sure that they are great to shoot. I was worried about going too light. Again, I am shooting a 240 gr. JSP so I need a little more powder for the Jacketed as well as the slightly lower weight although, the weight is not that much different to effect the charge.

Glenn
The great thing about handloading is that you can load mild or
max and anything in between. If you own several guns in the
same caliber you could work up a different load for each one of
them using the same tools and components. I have five .44
mag revolvers, a three screw Ruger SBH 7 1/2", a Ruger
Bisley 7 1/2", a Ruger stainless Red Hawk 5 1/2", a Ruger
Vaquero 4 5/8" and a S&W 29-2 4". The SBH and RH see
mostly full power loads with cast or jacketed bullets because
I use them for hunting, the Bisley will probably get mostly
mid range loads, 1050-1100 fps, because that beautiful low
hammer spur takes chunks of flesh out of my thumb with
full power loads, I like mid range, 1000 fps, in the Vaquero
and the 29-2 will see mostly 830-950 fps loads because I want it to last forever. The idea that one is compelled to
load to factory specs of what is written on the barrel of his
gun is nonsense. Anyway, I think you only have to worry
about going too light if you use jacketed bullets. I try a mild
or mid range load with a standard primer and if ES is not low
I switch to a mag primer. I find that 231 is more consistant
with most any load, even 38 spl, with mag primers. Don't
underestimate mid range loads in the .44 mag. Read what
Brian Pearce has to say on this subject in Handloader mag.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
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The thread didn't ask for opinions on what anyone thinks about shooting a light load in .44 Magnum! It asked about powder charge recommendations, for a variety of powders! Just because one may have a .44 wheel gun does not mean that you have to shoot high power cannon loads all the time. I load different "loads" for different applications, all the time, in (and for) different guns!
I know what you mean here. I love my 44 mag. I can put some full loads in it when I'm in bear country, but that doesn't mean I want to shoot those bear loads all the time! It is hard on the joints and the gun itself. I'd rather shoot a million target loads and have a solid gun still than several thousand full loads and have a gun thats getting "loose." and, if I want a 44 spl.... Well, I do have one! Its the same gun as my 44 Mag. To make things easy on cleaning the cylinders, I just load mag cases to special pressures. That way I get the fun without the ouch and without the crudded up ring of lead build up in the cylinder thats common when shooting special cases in a magnum.
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Old 06-07-2012, 04:09 AM
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These loads are Old School, I have been using them in the 44 Mag since 1970.

With typical "store bought" hard cast 240gr SWC bullets, in 44 Mag brass, start with 7.5gr of Unique.
Then load some with 8, 8.5, 9, and 9.5 grains of Unique. Pick the load that has the recoil/accuracy you need.

I like 7.5gr of Unique for double action range use and practice.

The wife and I use 9.2gr of Unique for our general purpose and deer lease field loads, [I load on a progressive loader and I have a powder slide that just happens to throw 9.2gr of Unique.

If I want something hotter than 9.2gr of Unique I go to 2400.

For heavy loads in a 6+inch 44 Mag and especially with bullets over 250 grains I use H 110.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquito View Post
There is always one in the bunch! My responses in RED! I'm sorry that I asked a question that you do not agree with. I guess I, and all the other guys who responded about light loads are not up to your professional shooting standards!
Not only that....if you shoot anything other than full power loads in the lightest 44mag revolver that Smith makes you are a wimp, well, at least according to some folks!

I have an old manual, the Speer #8 and it lists a load at much higher data than other manuals for Unique than what is being suggested. One thing nice about Unique, it can be loaded down to the levels you state without danger. It will be dirtier than other powders but the reason you are doing it for, it won't matter!

I have a surplus version of Unique that I got really cheap. It is even fluffier than the Alliant stuff. Meters terrible, +/- .2gr but, it just seems to work well for plinking 44mag loads. It also works super in the 45 Colt but that is a subject you didn't ask about!

I have to agree 100% with Fred on one thing for sure, no Titegroup in these larger cases, NEVER, NO, NOT IN THIS LIFE, too dense, too little fill.

Of course, I will not use it in small cases either, just me though!
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  #37  
Old 06-07-2012, 07:53 AM
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I currently run my 629 using 6.0-8.0 gr. Titegroup with a 240gr JSP, it works for me nothing to harsh. Here it is, it's your gun shoot what you want in it, wether full house, or light loads it's your call and don't let anyone tell you different.Enjoy.
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  #38  
Old 06-07-2012, 11:15 AM
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I can't help you with Red Dot. I have been using between 8.5 and 10.0 grains of Unique in the 44 for over forty years now (usually with an H&G #503). I agree with what everyone says about it being a bit dirtier than some newer powders, but I am still burning my way through the last 8# jug of it and it still works well enough.

Other choices that interest me have been 231/HP38 and HS6 (I frequently use those two in several other calibers). Both of those work well too, but really no better than Unique, as far as I am concerned, so I have continued to use it in the 44.

For some reason, none of these light loads will shoot as clean or, in my opinion, as accurately as the best loads you can put together with 2400 (when used in its proper operating range). But unless you are using your 44 for bullseye competition, the light loads are accurate enough.

I agree with most of the others on reduced 44 loads. I probably shoot 10 or 20 "plinking" level loads for every full-charge 44 that I fire. They're easier on my hand and wrist - and the gun. But I do admit it is still fun to shoot a half box or a box of the big blasters - especially at longer ranges. People who dismiss the light Unique load might give them a try on 200m rams. I was surprised to see they would knock them down pretty handily with any decent hit to the body.
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  #39  
Old 06-11-2012, 08:11 AM
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One of my favorite midrange loads is 9 gn of Universal clays behind a 200-250 gn cast. Its very clean and accurate and depending on the bullet weight I get between 900-1000 fps out of a 6 1/2 inch bbl.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:03 AM
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Lots of good info at M.D. Smiths reloading page.
Reloading Pages of M.D. Smith
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  #41  
Old 06-14-2012, 10:27 PM
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I'd recommend HS-6 for your mid range loading. In my experience it is more accurate than Unique and Universal. Doesn't hurt that John Linebaugh recommends it as well.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquito View Post
I'm just looking for light to medium plinking loads that I can use the powder I have, with!

G
7.5 to 10 gr Unique should fill that bill nicely
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Reloading Thread, Need help with .44 Mag. load Data in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; What powder's do you use for .44 Magnum and what min/max do you have for them. The data for .44 ...
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