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Old 01-05-2016, 01:58 PM
Trout Trout is offline
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Default 44 Mag Light Load or 44 Special Load?

I have some 44 Mag brass on hand, but no 44 Special brass.

Last edited by Trout; 06-07-2016 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 01-05-2016, 02:16 PM
AveragEd AveragEd is offline
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I load a 240-grain cast semi-wadcutter over 10.0 grains of the discontinued SR4756. Muzzle velocity for that recipe in under 1,000fps (I've never chronographed it so I'm going by data velocities). There are a slew of other suitable powders, however. What you want to load is not challenging to accomplish.

Ed
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Old 01-05-2016, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AveragEd View Post
What you want to load is not challenging to accomplish.
I agree with this.

Last edited by Trout; 06-07-2016 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 01-05-2016, 02:54 PM
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Trout, you can use .44 Special data in the bigger .44 Magnum case, but pressures, and therefore velocities, will be less.

With 240 to 250 grain lead bullets and magnum cases, try 7.0 to 7.5 grains of W231 or HP38...or 8.0 grains of Unique. Either of those loads will be within your velocity perimeters.

Roe
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Old 01-05-2016, 03:02 PM
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^^^ +1 on 8.0 grains of Unique with 250 grain lead bullets.
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:23 PM
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Yes on using the special loads in magnum brass.
Add .5 to 1 grain to get the same performance.
I also like the 8 grain Unique/Universal load with a 240/250 in magnum brass.
Elmer used 8.5 for his mid-range load.
10 grains is approaching magnum pressures.
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:02 PM
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In a magnum case, I like 7g W231/HP38 under a 240/250g SWC.

Gives you @ 850fps. Soft shooting and hard hitting, accurate too.
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:17 PM
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8 grs of Unique should do it in a mag case with a 240 gr lswc
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:30 PM
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Concur with the Unique and 231 loads listed above. I've loaded and shot quite a few of both through my 629-3 Classic.

Another option is Power Pistol. It meters well and a load of between 8.0 and 9.0 grains under a 240 grain LSWC will provide performance on par with the above loads. The 9.0 grain load clocked just over 1000 FPS from my 6" 29-3 with excellent accuracy.
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:40 PM
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Lot's of suggestions for the old standby Unique loads...

Where do you buy Unique? I have not seen it in a store for a long time. Is it so popular that it sells out quick? Is it hard to get? Do people hoard it?
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:08 PM
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I tend to hold some velocity and lighten up the bullet.
200 grains at 1000 - 1200 makes for an easy shooting load that goes afield reasonably well.
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:29 PM
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6.8 gr. Red Dot & a 240 gr. LSWC work for me.
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trout View Post
Where do you buy Unique? I have not seen it in a store for a long time. Is it so popular that it sells out quick? Is it hard to get? Do people hoard it?
Recobs currently has Universal available in 1 pounders.
This is very close to Unique in performance and burns cleaner.
Many of us converted to it when Unique disappeared a few years ago.
They also have several other good pistol powders that would work like CFE pistol, and HS6.
Oh by the way they also have Unique in 1 pounders too!
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:39 PM
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I've shot a ton of 240 grain bullets over 8 grains of Unique. So, as above, I agree it is a good load.

I recently have shot a few hundred rounds of 6.1 grains of Trail Boss with a 200 grain bullet that I loaded for my Marlin for Cowboy Action shooting.
With a 240 grain lead bullet, 6.0 is recommended for for 828 fps. They did not say what barrel length this load was chronographed in.
Trail Boss was developed specifically for light loads in high volume cases. I have shot thousands of rounds of .44 Special and Magnum loads with it and have had zero issues. It is a high volume powder so you do not get as many loads with a cannister of it as you would for a powder like Unique.
The really good thing about Trail Boss is that you cannot get a double charge with it. The case will overflow.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:39 PM
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Any load listed as maximum for a .44spl should serve as a starting load for a magnum. If that doesn't feel strong enough, it should be easy to climb the ladder til the smash and bang suit you.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:52 PM
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I load light loads in .44 Spl. cases and heavy loads in Mag cases.

If you ever lose track of what's in what cases, you'll at least know where the *****cats are and where the screamers are.
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:01 PM
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Trout: Universal is almost duplicate to Unique. I've looked for Unique locally for over a year without luck!

Whole world of new powders and loads out there! I've purchased and use the Lyman Pistol and Revolver Load Manual #3. I find it a valuable resource.
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxie View Post
I load light loads in .44 Spl. cases and heavy loads in Mag cases.

If you ever lose track of what's in what cases, you'll at least know where the *****cats are and where the screamers are.
with the advent of coatings, we got colors too
for me, its all mag brass but I can tell first gear from over drive at a glance by bullet color.
yellow is sub sonic
blue is mid range
black and zombie green are full boat as is anything jacketed.
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Old 01-07-2016, 02:15 AM
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FWIW, I've been loading 44 mag cases with 200gr Xtreme plated RNFP bullets over a charge of AA #2 powder. The charge I'm using is 5% above max for 44 specials. Makes a nice shooting load with a little more OOMPH than 44 specials, but a lot less punishing than full boat magnums. I've shot a couple of hundred but haven't been where I could chrono any yet - but I'm guessing somewhere in the 900 FPS range +/- 50 FPS.
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Old 01-07-2016, 03:35 AM
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Trout - For years I have used 6.0 to 6.5 grains of Red Dot under a 240 cast swc in a 44 mag case. About 900fps., and very accurate in a variety of revolvers I have owned.

Larry
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:16 AM
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Default I load .38 special loads in....

I load .38 special loads in .357 Magnum case to prevent clogging up the chambers when changing to heavier .357 loads.

A powder that will give you around 900 fps in in .44 mag loads is Unique and I suppose that similar powders like Universal would get similar results.

In loads similar to .44 Special, powders such as Unique, Universal, SR 4756, 2400, 231 can get velocities from 800-900 fps in the heavier loadings which should be fine in a .44 magnum case.

I haven't seen Unique or Universal around but I've bought .231 and 2400 and Red Dot here. Titegroup has been one of the easiest to find. I haven't tried IMR pistol powders, though their rifle powders are good. Take a look at the burn rate chart and most anything between medium and slower than 2400 ought to work. Some powders slower than 2400 don't burn as well in reduced loads.

Accurate powders are very good. #7 or 9 should work. I would guess that #5 would work also. #2 is close to Titegroup and is a faster powder.

Vihtavuori powders are almost universally considered to be excellent, but they have an excellent price tag of $35-40 / lb.

PS: I know how you feel. I laid off for some years and when I came back a lot was different, including powders had changed a lot. One thing that helped was that I got some new reloading manuals and was able to easily see what powders did what.

PPS: Some powders were simply taken over by another company and only the name changed. There are also a few powders existing seemingly from different companies, but they come from the same supplier and are acknowledged by the company to be an exact match. Hodgdon supplies Hodgdon, IMR powders and Winchester and Chris Hodgdon says that the only reason they don't combine some powders under one name is brand loyalty. People swear by HP38 and won't touch that Win231 stuff when in fact it is the same, exact powder.
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapping Twig View Post
In a magnum case, I like 7g W231/HP38 under a 240/250g SWC.

Gives you @ 850fps. Soft shooting and hard hitting, accurate too.
I've switched to 231 from Trail Boss in my light 44 Mag loads because it meters better and is cleaner in my guns.
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:47 AM
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8-9 grains of Unique under that SWC is what I use in magnum brass. I don't know the ballistics but it is an accurate and very pleasant load. Shoot all day without pain.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:35 AM
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The rule of thumb I use for 44 special loads in magnum cases is to increase load by 10%. Resist using the add a grain or two formula as it does not account properly for the load differences in slower and faster powders.

Last edited by fuzzymcnab; 01-12-2016 at 01:38 AM. Reason: Mixed up terms special and magnum
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:48 AM
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I have some 240 grain bullets and would like to load a similar round but can't seem to find data on the powers I currently have. I have two tins of Norma R-123 as well as Somchem MS200 and MP200. I normally use the Somchem powders to load 9mmP and .357 magnum.
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:31 AM
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8.5 Gr of Universal under a 240 was going ~ 925 FPS, over my chronograph last month. I used this load when I was looking for something to shoot in my 329. It's a good load for when you don't feel like fighting recoil, very consistent and accurate.
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:26 AM
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I have loaded my 44 Mag cases with HP38 at 7.0gr. Hodgdon info has 5.5gr starting @ 800fps with 240gr LSWC. Max shows 11.0gr @ 1334 fps.

Titegroup is an option too, other than being very careful as to not double charge a case it is a powder that does well in longer cases for ignition. I just shot some today in m 45 Colt loads and they were delightful.

This website has been great too for me:Reloading Pages of M.D. Smith
You will see the 44 Mag load with HP38 showing the 7.0gr load I mentioned above as a 'mild target load' no chrono reading however.

I also have 100 44 Spl cases, I think it's an excuse to get a dedicated 44 Spl gun only
I have been enjoying this round but just started to load 45 Colt and really have taken a liking to it
Karl
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ontargetagain View Post
This website has been great too for me:Reloading Pages of M.D. Smith
Boy that is some old school HTML
Created 20 years ago and last modified 10 years ago.
Plain and simple. No stupid scripts.
I love it!
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo288 View Post
Boy that is some old school HTML
Created 20 years ago and last modified 10 years ago.
Plain and simple. No stupid scripts.
I love it!
I stumbled upon this info a while back, had printed it out for a few calibers and then used more modern books and kept referring back to this old data and found it quite simple and safe on loads. There are certainly a few powders that you don't see around but it sure has a nice listing for all the calibers of powders past and present
Glad you appreciated it.......
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:32 PM
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If you have 44 Magnum chambers, it never made any sense to me to inventory two different brass lengths...unless you love resetting your .44 seating and crimping dies.

Any light charge of a fast powder pushing a 200ish grain bullet will achieve your goal with excellent effect.

I happen to like Clays with Xtreme 200 grain plated. Lately I've been messing with BE86 and CFE Pistol. Unshockingly, they also work exceedingly well.

Last edited by SLT223; 01-13-2016 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:51 PM
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I've developed 44 Special 750-1000 fps loads in the 44 Magnum cases as well as 38 S&W Special 800-1000 fps loads in 357 magnum cases for the respective S&W magnum handguns.

This was done to eliminate the hot gas etching of the cylinder charge holes.
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Old 01-16-2016, 02:55 AM
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This may be something to keep in mind when putting a light load in a large case. This is also from M.D. Smith: Light Loads can Explode Page
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Old 01-16-2016, 06:50 PM
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This is not usually a problem with revolver rounds unless you are talking about low density loads with slow powders (like W296).
Even then the problem has been hard to reproduce under scientific conditions.
Notice one of those stories is about a case larger than the 45-70 using 3031 powder.
A wildcat with more or less unknown internal ballistics and little reloading data.
Many of the huge nitro-express and almost all of the commercial loads for "Nitro For Black Powder Express"
cartridges use foam fillers to take up the empty space and keep the powder next to the primer.
I have played with this in the 44 and 444 and consider it unnecessary especially in revolver rounds.
Many millions of target loads using fast powders and low density have been fired without blowing up.
There are a couple of interesting theories about what is supposedly happening but they remain just that.
It HAS been shown that card wads over the powder with space above to the bullet can cause ringing of the chamber.
Fillers should take up all the empty space and wads should be under the bullet not over the powder.

The only thing I accomplished with these loads was to spray shredded tissue paper all over the indoor range.
Management was a little dumbfounded having never seen this before, had a laugh, and made me clean it all up
Used tumbling media or Grex works much better.
I have also used Pufflon and can't recommend it.
If I ever try this again, it will be with cylindrical foam earplugs.
This is evidently close to what Kynoch uses in the NFBPE cartridges.
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