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Old 07-28-2017, 05:15 AM
Daimler1989 Daimler1989 is offline
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Default realoading .44 Special: some thoughts and questions

Hello,
for quite a few years I'm experimenting with the .44 Special. I have not found THE load for me, because there still are some things, that might be an issue for me. Using 240-250 grs bullets, POA and POI at my preffered range distances between 10 and 25 meters are very different. So I switched to 200 grs bullets. The chamber throats of my gun (S&W 624 4") are wide, .429/.430 bullets simply fall through, .431 bullets can be pushed through without effort, so I guess throat diameter is .432. The only nearly satisfying results regarding accuracy were with .431 bullets (I use Fiocchi 44 teflon coated lead SWC, but they are very expensive). I ditched the Lee Factory Crimp Die and use a healthy roll crimp instead, so not to reduce the bullet diameter. But still there is a certain amount of unburnt powder, esp. if I use powders with small grain like AA #2 or AA#5 or the VV powders from 320 to 340. My guess is that the light 200 grs bullets don't provide enough resistance and get out of the case too fast for a proper burning. I don't want to continue to use fast powders like N320, AA #2 for ballistic reasons, but would prefer powder in the Unique/Universal/N330/N340 range (which do not burn as desired). Do 215 grs bullets offer enough weight to slow down acceleration to increase powder burning? Or would it be advantageous to increase bullet diameter to .432? Or both?

To clarify: I always try my loads in a S&W 696 as well. Chamber throats are less than .429, i.e. mucht tighter than the 624. Accuracy is mostly better, bullet speed with the 3" barrel higher than with the 4". But powder burning is nearly the same effect.

Has anyone experienced similar things and found a working solution? I must add, I'm living in Germany, so unfortunately I don't have the chance get .432 bullets made in US, and US made powders are mostly difficult to obtain (that's why I mostly use VV or french Vectan/SNPE powders).

thanks for helping
regards from Germany
Ulrich
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Old 07-28-2017, 05:57 AM
Fishinfool Fishinfool is offline
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A couple thoughts. If your POI vs your POA is that far off on an adjustable sight gun, then a taller or shorter front sight or rear sight leaf may be in order. There should not be that much of a difference in POI with 240 / 250 grain bullets between 10 and 25 yards, unless you are shooting critical bullseye matches, maybe.

As far as unburned powder goes, there is almost always some depending on the load, and it is not really an issue as long as the load is accurate. I know it bothers some folks, but unless it is really bad, (and few known "book" loads are) I just clean the gun when I am done shooting and don't worry about it. I am not really familiar with the powders you are using, but generally, faster powders burn cleaner when used with light for caliber bullets, especially when being pushed to .44 spl velocities.

If your throats are oversized at .432, then your best accuracy will probably come with lead bullets sized to that diameter. Jacketed, if an option, are usually less sensitive to throat size, and .429 / .430 may work well for you. Another option for you may be cast or swaged lead .429 bullets with a hollow base, similar to what some factories load for the .45c, another gun with varying throat sizes. They work. You also might find softer cast or swaged bullets might tend to "bump up" upon firing, and better seal you throats. Can you obtain .432 bullet molds and cast your own?

A couple favorite powders for me when loading the .44 spl at less than 900 fps have been Red Dot and Win 231, both producing good accuracy and a relaitively clean burn with both 200 and 240 grain bullets.

Larry

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Old 07-28-2017, 06:45 AM
andy52 andy52 is online now
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Right now I'm using .430 255gr Keith style SWC over 6.5gr AA#5 it's a pretty light load but very accurate in my model 24. The throats are right on the money at .429. These are paper punching loads and I really haven't tried any hotter loads. I had tried some loads with AA#9 and had lots of unburnt power and less then stellar accuracy.
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:24 AM
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Sounds like you need to start over and rethink what your doing. You should be able to use any powder with that 624/bullet combo.

One of my favorite bullets to use in my s&w 624 was the mihec 220gr hbwc bullet. A picture of the 624 with test bullets/seating depths.


Don't know if you cast your own bullets but this is what your looking for:
Bullets with a 8bhn to 12bhn alloy
Bullets that are at least .430" in diameter
Learn how to powder coat bullets

Powder coating a bullet will do 2 things. It will easily add 2/1000th's in diameter to any bullet with 1 coat. And yes you can add more than 1 coat to any bullet. The pc'ing process will anneal an alloy making it more elastic.

I've used/shot 44spl's for 30+ years now & still do to this day. Been reloading for them just as long, 1 heck of a caliber. I carry a snub nosed 44spl for things that go bump in the night. Some of the latest test loads using a:
210gr hollow based hollow point swc (hb hp swc)
220gr hollow based wad cutter turned backwards (hbwc)
200gr gas checked swc (gc swc)
185gr hollow based hollow point flat round nose (hb hp frn)


Anyway your 624 will never shoot right with lead bullets until you use a .432"/.4325" bullet. Any .340" bullet can be powder coated up to those sizes. If you don't cast your own try buying some bullets that are made from soft lead. The simply remove the lube if you can't buy un-lubed bullets and powder coat them yourself.

Another option is to get a bump die and buy soft lubed bullets and simply bump them up to your desired diameter. Swaging dies & making your own jacketed bullets are another option. Heck I swage these jacketed bullets for the 44spl/mags from nothing more than 40s&w brass and free range lead using nothing more then common reloading dies that anyone can buy.


What your doing doesn't have to be extremely complicated. Before I bought a 32cal hbwc mold I made my own 32cal hbwc's using this simple bump/swaging die.


Anyone with a drill press can easily make a simple die like the 1 pictured above. I cast a .311" 93gr rn bullet and put it in the die pictured above and hit it with a mallet and out came a .314" (i needed a .314" bullet) that was a hbwc.

Just something to think about.
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:38 AM
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Default Lead free for me

For Lead Free performance in the Barrel, I have been making
and using Ben's Liquid Lube. Just Google to find out.

Extra step but worth it to me. It's not like I shoot and reload
hundreds of at a time.

Thank you for all the good information.
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:13 AM
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Don't get too caught up in the size of cylinder throats being oversize . It's the " groove " size of the barrel that is important . If the cylinder throats are smaller than the groove size of the barrel , then you have a problem .
I would buy cast bullets sized .431 . I'm not familiar with your powders . I use Winchester Super Target for my target loads in 44's . It burns very clean and shoots accurately . I use the " real " Keith 245 gr swc , HG 503 in my 44 special and 44 magnums .
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Old 07-29-2017, 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Daimler1989 View Post
But still there is a certain amount of unburnt powder, esp. if I use powders with small grain like AA #2 or AA#5 or the VV powders from 320 to 340.
I've never used AA #2 or VV320 but on the burn chart they show to be about like W231/HP38 so I don't understand why you're having unburnt powder problems, even with loose throats. How bad is it?

You're correct, a larger diameter bullet would be held up in the throats & give a better burn but, again, that shouldn't be a problem with fast powders, more so with slow powders.

.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:39 AM
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Great info being shared here. Reading along I wonder.........do you have un-burnt powder or is it burnt with remaining particles? I have a few powders that in certain loads leave residue but it is burnt rather than un-burnt.

Is there any chance a different primer could be helpful with powder burn in your loads?
Karl
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Old 07-29-2017, 09:43 AM
Daimler1989 Daimler1989 is offline
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@ all

thanks everyone for that great input. Just to answer a few questions:
  • I use the gun on the range, but yet didn't use it for bullseye matches because the accuracy of my loads didn't satisfy me - no problems with my M27-3 and M27-2, which I use for revolver matches instead.
  • the faster the powder I use, the less powder particles are left
  • the lighter the bullet I use, the more powder particles are left
  • much of the powder particles are burnt and fall down directly in front of me (lots of yellow powder particles on the range table). Once I had to disassemble the cylinder assembly, because the powder residue under the extractor was so much that the cylinder jammed
  • I tried Large Rifle primers, but noticed no significant change
  • I want to use powders in the burn rate Unique/Universal/VV N330 because I get a little higher velocities and the better filling of the case
  • I did a load with Vectan/SNPE A0 (burn rate like Herco / Longshot) a powder with very large flakes, giving impressive velocities and CLEAN burning. Here the large flakes did the trick...
  • I'm considering doing the bullets myself, but I would have to afford all the casting equipment
Yesterday on the range I tried some new loads with 215 grs SWC (7.1 Vectan/SNPE BA9) and 240 SWC HP (6.3 BA9), both sized at .430. Heavy leading after 20 rounds, sooty cases and the same amount of powder particles as always... BA9 is nearly the same burn rate as Unique, slightly slower than VV N330.

I guess that the bullets are moving too fast from the case for the powder to burn properly (except powder with large heavy flakes). Seems as if the bullet diameter might be the cause for the problem. Will try jacketed bullets to see what happens, just as a test.

best regards from Germany
Ulrich
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Old 07-29-2017, 11:11 AM
Capt. F. Capt. F. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daimler1989 View Post
Hello,
for quite a few years I'm experimenting with the .44 Special. I have not found THE load for me, because there still are some things, that might be an issue for me. Using 240-250 grs bullets, POA and POI at my preffered range distances between 10 and 25 meters are very different. So I switched to 200 grs bullets. The chamber throats of my gun (S&W 624 4") are wide, .429/.430 bullets simply fall through, .431 bullets can be pushed through without effort, so I guess throat diameter is .432. The only nearly satisfying results regarding accuracy were with .431 bullets (I use Fiocchi 44 teflon coated lead SWC, but they are very expensive). I ditched the Lee Factory Crimp Die and use a healthy roll crimp instead, so not to reduce the bullet diameter. But still there is a certain amount of unburnt powder, esp. if I use powders with small grain like AA #2 or AA#5 or the VV powders from 320 to 340. My guess is that the light 200 grs bullets don't provide enough resistance and get out of the case too fast for a proper burning. I don't want to continue to use fast powders like N320, AA #2 for ballistic reasons, but would prefer powder in the Unique/Universal/N330/N340 range (which do not burn as desired). Do 215 grs bullets offer enough weight to slow down acceleration to increase powder burning? Or would it be advantageous to increase bullet diameter to .432? Or both?

To clarify: I always try my loads in a S&W 696 as well. Chamber throats are less than .429, i.e. mucht tighter than the 624. Accuracy is mostly better, bullet speed with the 3" barrel higher than with the 4". But powder burning is nearly the same effect.

Has anyone experienced similar things and found a working solution? I must add, I'm living in Germany, so unfortunately I don't have the chance get .432 bullets made in US, and US made powders are mostly difficult to obtain (that's why I mostly use VV or french Vectan/SNPE powders).

thanks for helping
regards from Germany
Ulrich
I have 5 .44 Specials, a custom pre-27, a Rossi model 720, a Great Western 4 3/4", a 624 3" and a 24-3 6 1/2".
All except the 24-3 eat just about anything I feed them accurately. Then there's the 24-3. As one member here said of his 24-3, "it doesn't shoot groups, it shoots patterns". After trying 250 grn Keith's from my Lyman mold, LBT 250 grn and even Sierra 240 grn jacketed with loads up and down the scale I've come to conclusion there's a problem with throat/bore diameter. Haven't slugged yet but betting that's the problem.
Right now it's a great wall hanger.
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Old 07-29-2017, 11:46 AM
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ulrich
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Old 07-29-2017, 11:49 AM
Daimler1989 Daimler1989 is offline
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...
... Then there's the 24-3. As one member here said of his 24-3, "it doesn't shoot groups, it shoots patterns"....
Right now it's a great wall hanger....
@ Capt F. I'm sorry for that.

Don't get it wrong:My 624 is not an inaccurate gun, it only has some faults that don't satisfy ME. On shorter distances it's mostly fine, like here, 10 Meters 12 rounds. 25 Meters they group about 5 times of this...

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 07-30-2017, 01:28 AM
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I guess that the bullets are moving too fast from the case for the powder to burn properly
Don't know if it's applicable to you, but I recently was loading some 44 Mags with .429" Nosler 240gr JHP & noticed I was getting very little bullet-case tension, even though I was using minimal case flaring.

The short story, I bought a new sizer die (Hornady) which sized the cases .002" smaller than the Lee sizer I'd been using. This made a big difference on bullet-case tension when seating a bullet.

How's your bullet-case tension? A roll crimp along can't provide enough tension for a uniform burn to get started. Just a thought.

.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:33 AM
Forrest r Forrest r is offline
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Your problem is the bullet isn't sealing the cylinders of the 624. Been there done that. No seal ='s no pressure/no complete burn. Then the bullets skid when hitting the forcing cone causing leading and poor accuracy.

If you look at the picture of the 624 I posted above you will see that there's bullets in that picture. They are 220gr hbwc's cast/sized to .432". If you look closely you will see that those .432" bullets are loaded:
flush
crimped in the top lube groove
crimped in the bottom lube groove

I was seating those bullets at different depths looks for accuracy/testing loads. Accuracy ='s x-ring on a nra 25yd target or 1 1/2" 10-shot groups @ 25yds.

I found the accuracy I was looking for with that 220gr hbwc crimped in the bottom lube groove/ over 1/2" of that .432" bullet sticking out of the 44spl case. The bullet had to go that far to fill/seal/start strait in the cylinders & accuracy was excellent.

You never said if you cast your own bullets or not. A custom mold from Mihec (he's in europe/slovania)
MP MOLDS - Bullet molds
or a mold from neo molds here in the states
N.O.E. Bullet Molds Main Site
Will have you casting making .432/.433" bullets.

Or if you don't cast buy some .430" un-lubed bullets and for under $100 you could be powdercoating your own bullets. Bumping them up to .432".

The 624 isn't going to have any real accuracy until you start feeding it .432" bullets. Then the groups will shrink and the un-burnt powder will be a thing of the past.

I shot that 624 for over a decade in bullseye matches. Before I bought the custom molds that cast oversized bullets I swaged my own .432" bullets

Truly powder coating is the way to go with lead bullets. I use shoot a 686 for bullseye anymore loaded with 38spl's. Here's what the 686 looks like after a 200 round range session.


Not hand picked/cherry picked targets by any means. These are the test targets used when looking for 50ft bullseye loads from that 686. 6-shot bugholes using powder coated bullets.


I own a beater 629 and a bunch of molds for the 44cal's and wanted a plinking load. I tested 6 different bullets and 7 different powders using the traditional lube/sized/cast bullets and found 3 loads that would do mgb @ 25yds.
mgb ='s minute of golf or 1 1/2" @ 25yds/nra bullseye
I re-tested using the same bullets and powders/loads. This time I powder coated the bullets instead. The end result was 13 loads that would do 1 1/2" @ 25yds.

Same bullets/same alloy/same powder/same reloading dies/same 629. The only difference was traditional lube vs pc. The end result was 13 vs 3/the 13 targets from the test loads using pc'd bullets.


Order a bunch of bullets cast from 10bhn to 12bhn alloy that are not lubed or sized. Power coat them/load them/hit the loud button & enjoy. You'll be shooting bugholes in the targets.
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Old 08-01-2017, 04:43 PM
Daimler1989 Daimler1989 is offline
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thanks again everyone,
I'm just figuring out how to get .432 bullets over here. Will slug barrel and chamber throats and measure it, if .432 will be ok. Found some guy who can powder coat lead bullets for me. I will let you know how things go on.
best regards
Ulrich
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:03 AM
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@ all

thanks everyone for that great input. Just to answer a few questions:
  • I use the gun on the range, but yet didn't use it for bullseye matches because the accuracy of my loads didn't satisfy me - no problems with my M27-3 and M27-2, which I use for revolver matches instead.
  • the faster the powder I use, the less powder particles are left
  • the lighter the bullet I use, the more powder particles are left
  • much of the powder particles are burnt and fall down directly in front of me (lots of yellow powder particles on the range table). Once I had to disassemble the cylinder assembly, because the powder residue under the extractor was so much that the cylinder jammed
  • I tried Large Rifle primers, but noticed no significant change
  • I want to use powders in the burn rate Unique/Universal/VV N330 because I get a little higher velocities and the better filling of the case
  • I did a load with Vectan/SNPE A0 (burn rate like Herco / Longshot) a powder with very large flakes, giving impressive velocities and CLEAN burning. Here the large flakes did the trick...
  • I'm considering doing the bullets myself, but I would have to afford all the casting equipment
Yesterday on the range I tried some new loads with 215 grs SWC (7.1 Vectan/SNPE BA9) and 240 SWC HP (6.3 BA9), both sized at .430. Heavy leading after 20 rounds, sooty cases and the same amount of powder particles as always... BA9 is nearly the same burn rate as Unique, slightly slower than VV N330.

I guess that the bullets are moving too fast from the case for the powder to burn properly (except powder with large heavy flakes). Seems as if the bullet diameter might be the cause for the problem. Will try jacketed bullets to see what happens, just as a test.

best regards from Germany
Ulrich
That cylinder is out of spec, so I would just get a new one. Not sure how that would play from Germany.

I have tried lighter bullets in 44 and in 45 Colt, and at 15 yards they definitely did make a significant difference in POI.

Note that some leading at non-magnum velocities is due to bullets that are too hard.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:02 AM
cowboy4evr cowboy4evr is offline
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You are getting some really bad advice about the cylinder throats size . To get a new cylinder is pure " nonsense " If the cylinder throats are too small compared to the barrel size, that's a problem . If they are a little oversize compared to the barrel , that's fine . I have a model 25-5 ( 45 colt) that has cylinder throats that are very large . It is the one of the most accurate revolvers I have . I cast and shoot bullets size .454 instead of .452 .
YOur bullets sized .430 are really at least .001 too small in diameter. YOu mentioned getting some powder coated . That should add enough size to make them acceptable , probably around .431-.4315 .
I am wondering if you have a tight spot in the barrel where the barrel threads onto the frame . This can happen when they " indexed " the front sight to the rear sight . They would of had to over tighten the barrel to get the sights lined up . When you drive a lead slug down the barrel . If you hit " a wall , a tight spot " just before the slug exits the barrel , forcing cone , there is your problem . Make up some " fire lap " bullets to solve that problem . It takes proper internal dimensions to make revolvers fire cast bullets w/o leading the barrel and obtain acceptable accuracy .
Veral Smith @ LBT Molds sells a little soft bound manual describing what it takes (internal dimensions ) to have success shooting cast bullets in revolvers and how to fix the problem areas . It's titled " jacketed performance with cast bullets " . It sells for about $15 , well worth the price .
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:33 AM
at_liberty at_liberty is offline
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You are getting some really bad advice about the cylinder throats size . To get a new cylinder is pure " nonsense " If the cylinder throats are too small compared to the barrel size, that's a problem . If they are a little oversize compared to the barrel , that's fine . I have a model 25-5 ( 45 colt) that has cylinder throats that are very large . It is the one of the most accurate revolvers I have . I cast and shoot bullets size .454 instead of .452 .
YOur bullets sized .430 are really at least .001 too small in diameter. YOu mentioned getting some powder coated . That should add enough size to make them acceptable , probably around .431-.4315 .
I am wondering if you have a tight spot in the barrel where the barrel threads onto the frame . This can happen when they " indexed " the front sight to the rear sight . They would of had to over tighten the barrel to get the sights lined up . When you drive a lead slug down the barrel . If you hit " a wall , a tight spot " just before the slug exits the barrel , forcing cone , there is your problem . Make up some " fire lap " bullets to solve that problem . It takes proper internal dimensions to make revolvers fire cast bullets w/o leading the barrel and obtain acceptable accuracy .
Veral Smith @ LBT Molds sells a little soft bound manual describing what it takes (internal dimensions ) to have success shooting cast bullets in revolvers and how to fix the problem areas . It's titled " jacketed performance with cast bullets " . It sells for about $15 , well worth the price .
Replacing the cylinder is not "pure nonsense", if you don't cast your own bullets or are not able to buy a bullet to fit. Casting guys want to bring Mohammed to the Mountain, fit the bullet to the gun. Otherwise the gun is WRONG if it won't fit standard size bullets. Reaming cylinders is routine in order to use lead bullets, but a cylinder with oversize throats requires a complete reset. I have a 45 Convertible for which nothing worked until I bought hard-to-find .454 bullets. Still with a slug size of .451, the gun is a misfit. Ruger wasn't helpful about the question of replacing the cylinder with one of a more current size, typically .451, which I could have reamed to .4525.
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Old 08-02-2017, 11:23 AM
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FWIW, this thread confirms my 44 Special loading experience exactly.
My most accurate 44 Spl. is the 696. (.430")
Least accurate are the 624s 3", 4" 6.5" (.433")
Also a very accurate Dan Dwyer conversion 5" 28-2 (.430")

Had Penn make up 2000 .432" of a bullet he was discontinuing.
As those were used up. I sold off the 3" and 6.5" 624s.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:23 AM
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Great thread, many points applicable to other calibers and firearms well.

I'm glad to see a German, or any Western/Central European for that matter, having the ability to shoot firearms in their respective country - you must connections. Hope others there get the right to enjoy this great sport.

My German heritage is from a city previously known as Breslau - which since 1945 has been part of Poland.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:10 AM
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The 624's a known/famous for their .432" throats. Until I used .432"/.4325" lead/cast/swaged bullets accuracy wasn't there. If you have a 624 with cylinders throats less than .432" diameter, your cylinder has more than most likely been replaced.

I've owned several of them over the decades and every 1 of them had .432" cylinder throats.

I've used cast/lead bullets in revolvers with as much as 3/1000th's difference between the cylinder throats and the bbl. Accuracy really started to fall off if I went any larger.

I finely sold that 624 pictured above. Had 4 different firearms chambered in the 44cal's. Got tired of having a "special" bullet or a 624 only bullet when .430" bullets worked in the other 3 firearms.

The 624 cylinders are not only over sized they are over sized a looooooong way (I'm not yelling at anyone with the loooong thing). That's why they had a recall and tested every 624 to see if a 44mag round would fit into the cylinders of the 624. Hence the red "S"in the circle stamped on the s&w blue box.

I even tried hollow based bullets, namely hbwc's from a custom mold, keith hb swc's from a lyman 429422 mold and hb fn from a raphine mold. The 624 cylinders were too long/big for those hb bullets to expand/seal the cylinders unless the bullets were sized to .431"/.432".

That is why the statement, look at the picture of the 624 I posted above and you can see that the .432" hbwc's would fit the 624's cylinder with them sticking 1/2" above the case.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:45 AM
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at liberty : There is a " piece " of pipe in front of the cylinder . I strongly believe it's called " a barrel " . The bullet exits the " barrel " on it's way to the target , not coming straight out of the cylinder . He needs to check the barrel FIRST for the groove diameter and to see if he has tight spots at various locations inside the barrel . By driving a lead slug all the way through the barrel he will get this info .
I have 3 , 44's and I cast / size .431 for all three . The accuracy is good and no leading . Let me say right here that if I take out a few flakes of lead when cleaning , I don't consider that a leaded barrel . If I get strips 1" long or more , then I have a problem . Others might have a different opinion on the subject of " a leaded barrel " .
I have 25-5 (45 colt) , which are notorious for having oversize throats . The cylinder throats on mine measure .456-.457 . The barrel grooves measure .4525 . I cast / size my bullets .454 . It is one of " The " most accurate revolvers I have and no leading problems. I bought it real cheap because the guy that had it was real upset about the cylinder throat measurements . His loss--my gain.
He hasn't mentioned the " groove diameter " of the barrel . Is there tight spots inside the barrel , maybe where they " roll ' stamped the caliber/company name on the side of the barrel ? Is there a tight spot where the barrel threads onto the frame when indexing the front sight to the rear sight ? Is the barrel rough inside from machine marks ? You can start out with an oversize cast bullet but the above area's can / will shrink down the size of a cast bullet if they are not fixed , causing a problem of lead in the barrel and even accuracy problems . It takes time / effort and experience and knowledge to shoot cast bullets successfully from revolvers , accurately and w/o a leaded barrel . So telling someone w/o knowing the above , mentioned , important facts just to throw away what is , I'm sure a perfectly good cylinder is " pure nonsense " .

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Old 08-03-2017, 10:23 AM
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Too many people associate a " leaded " barrel with only a problem with the cylinder throats . The throats are too small---yup there's the problem . Cylinder throats too large --- yup there's the problem .
Stop looking for just the " easy " fix , ream out the throats if too small or get mad at S&W , claim the problem is oversize throats and send it back to the factory . Gentlemen , there's more to it than that . I learned from the best , Veral Smith @ LBT Molds . I bought his little book , corresponded with him several times . Veral has forgotten more than most will ever know on the subject of shooting cast bullets successfully in revolvers , pistols and yes , even rifles . Everything that I read and he told me I found to be true . I had several with tight spots where the barrel threads onto the frame . I had to use a mallet to get the slug past that spot . I found tight spots where they roll stamped the barrel with markings , I had rough spots in the barrel from machine marks . Driving a lead slug slowly down a barrel , you can feel all of the above , if present . Those area's effect a barrels performance , leading / and or accuracy .
You can disagree / bash me all you want . But at the end of the day my revolvers shoot just fine and I've never changed out a cylinder claiming oversize throats . Do yours shoot satisfactorily ?
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:18 PM
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Lead slugs for checking the barrel for the groove diameter , rough / tight spots etc , are available from Veral @ LBT Molds . They have a little wire tip , for ease of removing after just entering the muzzle to get the groove diameter . They are very inexpensive , available in many calibers .
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:44 PM
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10X on Veral Smith. I've been a student of his for over 20 years and he knows his stuff. Found one of his little books many years ago and a lead hardness tester then never looked back. If you are going to shoot lead, save yourself a lot of frustration and read the man who wrote the book on cast bullets.
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboy4evr View Post
at liberty : There is a " piece " of pipe in front of the cylinder . I strongly believe it's called " a barrel " . The bullet exits the " barrel " on it's way to the target , not coming straight out of the cylinder . He needs to check the barrel FIRST for the groove diameter and to see if he has tight spots at various locations inside the barrel . By driving a lead slug all the way through the barrel he will get this info .
I have 3 , 44's and I cast / size .431 for all three . The accuracy is good and no leading . Let me say right here that if I take out a few flakes of lead when cleaning , I don't consider that a leaded barrel . If I get strips 1" long or more , then I have a problem . Others might have a different opinion on the subject of " a leaded barrel " .
I have 25-5 (45 colt) , which are notorious for having oversize throats . The cylinder throats on mine measure .456-.457 . The barrel grooves measure .4525 . I cast / size my bullets .454 . It is one of " The " most accurate revolvers I have and no leading problems. I bought it real cheap because the guy that had it was real upset about the cylinder throat measurements . His loss--my gain.
He hasn't mentioned the " groove diameter " of the barrel . Is there tight spots inside the barrel , maybe where they " roll ' stamped the caliber/company name on the side of the barrel ? Is there a tight spot where the barrel threads onto the frame when indexing the front sight to the rear sight ? Is the barrel rough inside from machine marks ? You can start out with an oversize cast bullet but the above area's can / will shrink down the size of a cast bullet if they are not fixed , causing a problem of lead in the barrel and even accuracy problems . It takes time / effort and experience and knowledge to shoot cast bullets successfully from revolvers , accurately and w/o a leaded barrel . So telling someone w/o knowing the above , mentioned , important facts just to throw away what is , I'm sure a perfectly good cylinder is " pure nonsense " .
But if you don't cast, and the throats are really off of commonly available bullet sizes, the gun has to change, or like a number have mentioned here, be sold off.
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Old 08-05-2017, 12:40 PM
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There is I believe a third option !
If I didn't want to go through all the work to shoot cast bullets successfully and I wasn't ready to dump the gun on the market I think I would turn to plated copper bullets . I'm not seeing what I would call a lot difference in price between the two anymore .
I have bought copper plated bullets for a semi auto from Xtreme Bullets . At holidays they offer great deals , discounts + free shipping . I was very happy with the quality and the price . IMO , I believe they would be satisfactory to use , solving many otherwise problems .
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:24 AM
Daimler1989 Daimler1989 is offline
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Gentleman

I slugged the gun and this is what I found out: chamber throats are .432, barrel is .429.
Am I right to assume that bullets with a .432 diameter would be the way to go to increase accuracy and minimize leading or would the benefit only be marginal and i should stick to .431 bullets regarding the higher effort (commercially cast .432 bullets are not available in Germany, so I would have to make them on my own or find someone who casts them)?

What excatly happens when a bullet with a smaller diameter leaves the overbore chamber and enters the smaller bore barrel?

regards from Germany
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:58 AM
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YOu probably need cast bullets at least .430-.431 in diameter . Did you drive the slug all the way through the barrel and then take another measurement ? That will tell you a lot , trust me !
I still suspicion you have a tight spot where the barrel threads onto the frame . It will feel like you hit a brick wall with the slug when you get to that junction point and if there is a tight spot there .
Don't get too caught up about oversize throats . There have been experiments where they took the barrel off completely , fired cast bullets into a bullet trap . they measured the base before and after being fired. It had been " bumped " up in size by the pressure of the fired round .
Remember , it's better to have slightly oversize throats and undersize . Let's take the time to drive a lead slug all the way down the barrel before buying more cast bullets of different sizes . I feel that you are just throwing away good money otherwise . I think you will find the trouble . I suggest spending $15 or so and buy veral smiths booklet , " Jacketed Performance with Cast Bullets " . Or , as I mentioned above try some plated bullets from someone like Xtreme , Berry's , Ranier etc. That could be an easy fix for you . Shooting cast is not difficult , once you learn how to check for trouble area's and how to remedy them . It's just a journey in education and like I just mentioned , Verals Booklet explains it all and how to fix . I'm simply sharing many years of experience in shooting cast from revolvers . So Daimler 1989 , there you have it , several possible suggestions , I hope I have helped you .

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Old 09-14-2017, 10:08 AM
Daimler1989 Daimler1989 is offline
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@cowboy4evr

I did dirve 1 slug from muzzle through the whole barrel and could not feel different resistance at any point of the barrel. I drove another slug from forcing cone into the bore as far as I could push it with a punch and then back out. Both have .429 diameter.

as for the different bullet types. I tried eveything I could get in .429/.430/.431. I did lead bullets, copper plated, hard cast (25 brinell), even teflon coated .431. best accuracy still give jacketed bullets.

Maybe the gun has it's accuracy that can't be improved. And my 27-2 and 27-3 are simply more accurate...

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Old 09-14-2017, 12:00 PM
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You have decent accuracy with jacketed bullets but the others are not acceptable . I'm beginning to wonder if you have a " timing " problem . The cylinder is not fully lined up with the barrel when you fire a round. Jacketed bullets would be more forgiving , they won't shave off any of the bullet . If the hand (pawl ) is just a tad too long or the crane is bent , that can cause timing problems . Understand , most revolvers , (smith & wesson included ) allow a bit , a very small bit of free rotation to compensate for this . But maybe your is just too far off to compensate . Without being able to look at the item , it's hard for me to really say what the problem is . I will tell you this though , if / when you find it , you will have a revolver that is as accurate as your 357's . Don't give up , there's an answer you just have to dig deeper . A good gunsmith will find it and correct it . Sending it back to the factory , explaining thoroughly what is the problem could be the best answer if a good gunsmith isn't available there . I would not give up and settle for only jacketed bullets or get disgusted and sell it . There's an answer for what's causing accuracy problems .
As far as your problem with unburnt powder , maybe you are flaring the case mouth too much and giving up a lot of " neck tension " . The crimp does very little to hold the bullet long enough for the powder to completely burn . Neck tension is very important . Just flare the case barely enough to " just " start to accept the base of the bullet and no more . I use fast burning powders on my target loads in 44's , using lighter bullets sometimes . Your powder selection , probably is fine .

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Old 09-14-2017, 12:55 PM
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Default There are bullet casters.....

Just to add what others have said. I know there are some casting places that will size the bullet to what you want. I don't know if they do that in Germany.

If you can get a slightly oversized bullet, with some equipment you can size them down to whatever you want. If no one does that closer to you, you can consider casting and sizing your own.

There is a place here that makes custom molds for bullets. I'm not sure if shipping would be a problem for something like that.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to get a gunsmith to slug the barrel so that you know exactly what the groove diameter is.

Maybe you can 'catch' a bullet in some soft material and weigh it to see if shaving is a problem.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:36 AM
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I load for four 44 specials. One load stands out, 240 grain lead SWC, 7.0 grains of Unique and Remington large pistol primers. Be sure the cases have tight throats and use a moderate crimp. One load for four guns made by three different manufacturers, one double action and three single actions. If you have an old TripleLock, back the powder back to 6.0 grains out of respect for these fine old guns. Gary
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:26 PM
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I've hand-loaded the 44 Special for almost half a century....

For the last 40 years I have load the original 'Keith' hard cast at .430
over an average measure of Unique for mid-range everyday use.

For defense, the same bullet over a reasonable amount of 2400,
in the neighborhood of 1000 to 1100 fps.

For hunting loads, the ol time E. Keith load in solid head cases works for me.

I have found that not all powders burn completely.

Also, the length of the Keith SWCs, when fired, the short of free-bore,
the full diameter forward driving band engages the forcing cone,
thus causing the slug to expand to fill the cylinder chamber throat
before exiting the case mouth, thus centering the bullet with
the axis of the bore as close as is reasonable with a revolver.


That is my story.....I's sticking to it.

As for the POI vs POA.........
The height of the sights may need to be re-calibrated for a particular loading.

.
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Old 09-17-2017, 07:24 AM
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The issue is the 624 cylinder holes themselves. They are big/over sized/whatever you want to call them. Not only are they over sized, they are over sized a long way.

I respect everyone's input that posted in this thread. There's a lot of knowledge posted here. Can the cylinder issues be overcome??? Absolutely. I've owned/shot 624's in the past. It took some tinkering to get the right balance between the bullet diameter/alloy/lube. But then again I cast/swage/make my own bullets. The OP does not have these tooling/casting capabilities at his disposal.

The real issue:
The cylinder is 1.7" long
The 44spl case/the part that goes into the cylinder is 1.1" long (case body only/minus the case rim).
Where that 1.1" long case rests/ends in the 1.7" cylinder is .451"+ in diameter.
The ends of the cylinders are .432" in diameter.
The taper of the cylinder starts @ .451+ where the bullet leaves the case, then has .6" of free bore that shrinks down to .432".

Hence my using a .432" hollow based bullet that stuck out of the case .5".

Couple that with the bbl swaging a .432" bullet down 3/1000th's (.432" cylinder throats/.429" bbl). I've never had any luck with accuracy when a bullet got swaged down more the 3/1000th's in a bbl. The .432"/.429 is right on the edge of failure.

Anything under pressure goes to the least point of resistance. The undersized bullets in those .432" holes are not only going forward, they are going sideways/bouncing back and forth in the looonnnnggg freebore of the cylinders.

You need a:
.432" bullet
A bullet with a +/- 8bhn alloy
A bullet with a long body (wc/hbwc) that's basically a .432" cylinder.

You are never going to find any real accuracy with that pistol unless you either use jacketed bullets or a soft bullet sized to .432".

At least that's what I've found after owing a couple different 624's over 20+ year period.

Good luck
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:18 AM
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I've never seen a 24-3 or 624 with normal (.429-.430) exit bores. In the OP's gun, I would be loading a .432" cast bullet with pretty soft metal - straight wheelweights, or wheelweights with a dab of tin and maybe a little extra pure lead.

Any reasonable powder should work well and accuracy should be as good as the gun is going to do. I wouldn't pay the slightest attention to the unburned powder thing. It doesn't hurt anything and you are going to clean your gun anyway.

The .003" difference between barrel and cylinder exit bores is more than you'd like but it is not going to be dangerous and/or destroy accuracy. I have been shooting .432" bullets in my 29-2s for years now. As long as you have big enough chambers to handle the loaded rounds (my guns do) there should be no problems.

Replacing the cylinder... good luck!
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:55 PM
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At one point I had a nice 4". M624. Cylinder throats were .432", which is normal for 624's, & older 29's / 629's.

I got excellent results w/ a 260WFN / .432" / 10BHN, from an LBT mould - over VV N-330. 6.8 grain charge.

Bought the bullets from a guy in Alaska (off the Cast Boolits Forum), that did business as "The Bull Shop". Nice, meticulous guy, w/ a family run business. Not sure if he is still around - or not. Also manufactured a great bullet lube (quality comparable to LBT Blue), called Speed Green.
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:55 PM
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Hallo Ulrich,
mein S&W Sammlerfreund hat mich auf Deinen Artikel aufmerksam gemacht. Ich habe seit kurzem einen 624 und einige Ladungen ausprobiert. Wenn Du möchtest, kannst Du mich anrufen: 0212 2219100
Gruss
Rainer (aus Solingen)
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:01 AM
Daimler1989 Daimler1989 is offline
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thanks everyone for all these suggestions. I am corresponding with a commercial caster here in Germany to implement the .432 diameter solution with a bullet weight between 210 und 225 grains. I will keep you informed about what I could achieve, hopefully soon.

@littlerocknroller
Ich bin diese Woche oft unterwegs. Wann ist eine gute Zeit zum Anrufen? Meinst Du mit "Artikel" das Posting oder den Artikel über die .44 Special im DWJ, den ich mal geschrieben habe?

regards
Ulrich
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:54 PM
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littlerocknroller littlerocknroller is offline
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Hallo,
ich hatte mich auf das Posting im Forum bezogen, auf den mich mein Sammlerkollege aufmerksam gemacht hat. Ich habe einen Anruf von 02596 87451 bekommen. Warst Du das? Ich bin eigentlich Abends immer zu erreichen.
Gruss
Rainer
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:59 AM
Daimler1989 Daimler1989 is offline
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@ all
please excuse when I'm adressing to littlerocknroller in German language, we are both German. We are just figuring out when it's the best time for a phone call

@Rainer
sorry, das war nicht ich. Bei mir siehts zeitlich etwas eng aus diese Woche, melde mich vermutlich nächste Woche abends.

regards
Ulrich
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:26 PM
oddshooter oddshooter is offline
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I have had the same problem.

You may be reducing the diameter of every bullet you seat. I don't care what size it is.

Seating dies can all swage down the diameter when it pushes the lead boolit into the case. You spend time and money getting a correct size boolit only to shrink it during seating. Bad.

The answer is to get the M style cowboy dies from RCBS or Redding. Then call for a new stem sized correctly to .431. They will do it for free.

The M style creates a "nest" that will accept the boolit without swaging it down.


Prescut
Also, large rifle primers may not be helping the unburnt granules. Back off the powder a little and try using large pistol magnums. That will help. Slow powders like H110, 296, 4227 absolutely demand it.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:42 PM
GCF GCF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddshooter View Post
I have had the same problem.

You may be reducing the diameter of every bullet you seat. I don't care what size it is.

Seating dies can all swage down the diameter when it pushes the lead boolit into the case. You spend time and money getting a correct size boolit only to shrink it during seating. Bad.

The answer is to get the M style cowboy dies from RCBS or Redding. Then call for a new stem sized correctly to .431. They will do it for free.

The M style creates a "nest" that will accept the boolit without swaging it down.
Good advice. Other's mileage may vary, but for my money, "M" dies are the ticket - for cast bullets.

I was not aware of them when I had my .44's, but use Lyman "M" expanders exclusively today, for cast (& even plated) .38's, .357's, & .45's. Requires an extra step in the "progressive" Dillon 550 process, but well worth it.
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