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Old 05-03-2018, 11:52 PM
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Default 44 special versus magnum

I was reading that lead may be more accurate than plated or jacketed. I’d like to try some. Mid south has some lead 44 Rim Rock bullets on sale for just
$10 per 100. They are advertised as 44 special,
and not magnum. Does that simply mean they are softer and need to run more slowly to minimize leading? I have special cases, I just hate to reset all my dies. Would I be better of with another lead bullet to try?
The gun is a 629-4 with 6.5 inch barrel.
I’ve been loading with 231 and cfe-p. Standard LP.
Thanks,
David
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:00 AM
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It'd be best if you provide the link for those bullets as there's too many variables to give you an accurate answer with that detail alone.

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Old 05-04-2018, 12:04 AM
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W231 can be dropped down to almost 44 SPL levels. If you are just buying 100 bullets, I'd try them out and see if you get excessive leading.
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:07 AM
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44 Special Rim Rock Lead Bullets .430 Diameter 200 Grain Round Nose Flat Point 100 Count by Midsouth Bulk Bullets
I hope this link works.
Thanks
David.
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:22 AM
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Look up the powder manufacture online, they post their loads free. I like Clays Universal because it's clean burning at reduced velocity. Using faster powders like Bullseye or W231 will give low pressure at reduced loads, thus the brass does not expand fully in the cylinder and the load leaves a lot of carbon residue all over the revolver.
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:29 AM
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MidSouth doesn't say what the BHN is for that bullet but it looks like this one that RR currently sells.
CB .44 200 gr. RNFP per 700

.

If it is I suspect they're calling it a 44 Special bullet because it's a Cowboy round nose cast bullet. I'm sure they normally use 44 Special revolvers.

You can use it in either. No telling till you try that bullet how it'll do in your revolver; how fast you can shoot them without leading. Have you shot any cast in your gun yet?

Cast bullets can be fickle. I gave up wasting time on them. I shoot plated or jacketed now. Zero Bullets make a resonably priced 240gr JSP that's very accurate & you can shoot it as fast as you like, with free shipping.

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Old 05-04-2018, 12:50 AM
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With lead, you have to start somewhere and get your feet wet.

100 bullets will go fast, whether they work or not but they will
give you an idea of what is going on.

A small 200 gr lead bullet will make a good light target load at
around 800fps up to around 900 if needed for accuracy.

My old Hodgdon #23 from 1979 has HP38 with a 215 lead in their
data doing 779 at 10CUP up to 879fps at 14,100 CUP.

Have fun.
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:55 AM
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If it is basically a RN with a flat nose, it is very likely for CAS Cowboy use. For many years I shot CAS with a pair of Ruger Blackhawks in .44 Mag shooting .44 Special cases with 180 grain lead Cowboy bullets and 6 grains of Bullseye. That load did everything I wanted.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:30 AM
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Yes, those bullets are probably on the soft side so they are recommending lower pressures.

You can safely build .44 Special pressure loads in your .44 Magnum brass using W231. There are other sources too if you want to push the pressures/velocities a little more but if the bullet fits well in your barrel you will probably see no leading.

More leading has been caused by bullets that were too hard than bullets that are too soft.

Missouri Bullets sells sample packs of their bullets. Their 44 Stalker bullet for $12.50 is 200gr .430" bullet with an 18 BHN you can push harder.
Missouri Bullet Company
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:39 AM
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Some bullets are also labeled as ".44 Special" because of their low weight. By the time you boost, say, a 180- or even a 200-grain lead bullet to full Magnum pressures, there's a solid chance that you'll be bumping against lead's velocity limitations with a lot of powders.

And FYI, you'll probably gain two or three inches at 50 feet moving from plated to lead, along with a lot more smoke. Jacketed is just as accurate as lead.
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Old 05-04-2018, 07:38 AM
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Odd no one bothered to actually go to the rim rock website and look that bullet up. All their "Cowboy action" cast lead bullets are 15bhn

15bhn ='s lyman #2alloy
lyman #2 alloy ='s max pressure/loads in their reloading manuals

You couldn't drive those bullets hard enough/fast enough in a 44mag (including rifles) to get leading from those bullets. The 2 main concerns you should have with them are:
1. The diameter of the bullets. They are .430", your 629-4 should eat .430" bullets like popcorn. Just keep the pressures up to make sure the bullet seals the cylinders/bbl. Too little pressure and you'll get no seal which leads to flame cutting/leading.
2. The rock hard lube needs pressure to do it's job. Less pressure ='s less performance. Leading and lack of accuracy are the results of lube failure.

Lyman #2 alloy in a 308w:
Cast up some lee 160gr tumble lube bullets and lubed them using a traditional 450 lyman sizer and lbt hard blue lube. The small tl rings held the lube. Did a ladder test using H335 taking the test loads up to +/- 38,000psi.


I didn't have any leading, this told me I didn't have enough lube. I used the same bullets above and tumble lubed them with 45/45/10 and re-tested.


The 37gr/38,000+psi re-test


While nothing to write home about (2 moa), it's a place to start with cast bullets, high velocities, high pressures. Any time you use/shoot cast bullets you want to see a lube star on the crown of the bbl. That's how I knew I had a lube problem with the initial 308w test pictured above. 50+ rounds down the tube with no leading and very little lube star on the muzzle. What the crown looks like with the blt lube + the 45/45/10 lube and only 15 shots.


Nothing to write home about but the re-tested highly lubed bullets managed to do 2 moa. Not too bad for a 38,000+psi load doing 2600fps+ @ 100yds. When you test you need to do the same thing, look for leading, star lube and then finely accuracy.

You can't drive those 15bhn bullets hard enough or fast enough in the 629-4, a levergun, contender or anything else to get leading. Leading comes from in-proper fit, lack of lube/wrong lube for the pressure of the load.
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Old 05-04-2018, 07:58 AM
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I also own a 629-4 with a 6 1/2" bbl. It's my beater/truck gun. I've cast my own bullets since the 80's and have owned several 44cal firearms over the decades. Sadly I'm down to only 4 44cal firearms at this time but I still cast for them with many of the molds being bought in the 80's & 90's. Those molds have cast countless 1000's of bullets over the decades.

I tested a lot of those cast bullets over the years in that 629-4 using a traditional luber/sizer and tested a bunch of store bought and home made lubes.

I love to plink with the 629-4 and while I'm not the greatest shot by any means. I test plinking loads trying to find loads that will do mogb (minute of golf ball) @ 25yds or basically hold the x-ring on a nra bullseye target ( 1 1/2"). At the end of the day I ended up with 3 different plinking loads using traditional cast/lubed bullets.

The watered down version:
You hit the loud button and bang!!!! The bullets off to the races. The pressure of the load presses on the base of the bullet. Not only expanding it to seal the bbl. The pressure also compresses the lube groove pressing the lube outward lubing the bbl along with hydraulically pushing the lube forward. The pressurized forward flowing lube goes past the front drive band sealing the bbl, lubing the bbl + filling any small imperfections in the bbl.

The old round vs square lube groove:
Is an arch stronger than square corners? Recovered keith 44cal bullet. You can see that the lube grooves are compressed. Top bullets are as cast/unfired. You can see different amounts of compression of the lube grooves from different pressures/loads.


Just like the post above with the 308w. Get the right alloy coupled with the right pressure (load). Along with the right lube/right amount of lube and you get accuracy.
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:29 AM
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When I decided to try pc'ing (powder coating) bullets the big draw for me was the coating is the lube. That means I didn't have to match the alloy/pressure/lube trying to find the write combo for something a simple as 1 1/2" groups @ 25yds. The lube is already everywhere it needs to be.

So I bought the equipment/supplies to pc bullets and decided on a firearm to test the pc'd bullets with. I grabbed a 308w and ran those pc'd bullet up to 2900fps and 50,000+psi. No coating failure/no leading. So I grabbed 7 different 44cal bullets I already tested in the 629-4 and pc'd them. Then I used 5 different powders that I already did ladder tests with using the same bullet that were traditionally sized lubed.

Same bullets/firearm/press/dies/etc. At the end of the day I found 13 loads using pc'd bullets that would do 1 1/2" @ 25yds in that 629-4. Re-tested the same lads using traditional cast/sized/lubed and still had 3 loads.

13 vs 3 that's Huge.


Why all this?
Because cheap might not always be the "best". It's a hard bullet with a hard lube & shouldn't be labeled for the 44spl. If I were to use/try those bullets I'd start in the 24,000psi/25,000psi range.
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:54 AM
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Default leading

I found leading at slow speeds which disappears when increasing speed a bit. Flame catching the base melting the lead.
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:21 AM
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Usually , leading at slow speeds is caused by using too hard of a cast bullet and it not obiturating (base expanding ) because the bullet was so hard that it could not expand at such low pressure . A softer bullet can solve that problem . But remember , leading a barrel can occur because of a number of reasons such as , cylinder throats too small , bullet size too small for the groove diameter of the barrel , a tight spot where the barrel threads onto the frame (very common ) , machine marks inside the barrel etc . Regards, Paul
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:30 PM
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Paul nailed it.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:37 PM
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The bullet specs for a 44sp or magnum should be the same. As noted fit is king, so a bullet min 0.001" larger than bore dia is needed. Check the cyl throats, each one for dia using a pin gage or sized bullet will work. You want them to match that same .001" larger than bore dia.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:50 PM
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Default Accuracy......

GENERALLY, accuracy is gotten by a slow, heavy bullet with a fast powder that has a very predictable burn.

Even if the bullet is soft, if it's well lubed and fitted you can get about 950 w/o leading.

Lead bullets lend themselves to this well.

I agree, get 100 and try them out. If you use .44 magnum cases, the only reset you'll have to do is the bullet press.

PS 200 gr is pretty light for a .44. If they have heavier ones, otherwise, I'm sure they'll be fine for target type shooting.

3.5-4 grains of Bullseye would be a good place to start. Work up (or down) until you find the 'sweet spot'.

PPS: You may want to try a box of Hornady swaged bullets. The velocity will be limited but the accuracy should be tops.
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Old 05-04-2018, 03:11 PM
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Consult some load manuals; 2 or 3 grains Bullseye may not push a bullet out the barrel.
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Old 05-04-2018, 04:06 PM
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Default Thnks, I checked that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
Consult some load manuals; 2 or 3 grains Bullseye may not push a bullet out the barrel.
Looked in Speer and Lyman, 4 grains is a reasonable starting point but I'd start a little lower as long as I didn't stick a bullet in the barrel. Doesn't need to be THAT light.
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Old 05-04-2018, 04:37 PM
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Gosh, I feel lucky reading all this! I've never had one iota of an issue running the same hard case LSWC'ers through any 44 mags & my 696. I do remember trying those soft swagged bullets made by Hornady early in my 44 mag life - and they leaded. But any old hard cast .430 bullet (Bear tooth, Penn Bullets, local guys) over 2400 works great in both my 44 mags and my 44 spl. Even killed whitetail deer with both.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:04 PM
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Below everything you wanted to know about the .44.


LOADS AND HANDLOADS FOR THE .44s

.44 BULLETS, POWDERS, PRIMERS, AND DIES

BY JOHN TAFFIN
41. 44 BULLETS, POWDERS, PRIMERS, AND DIES

SKEETER RESURRECTS THE .44 SPECIAL—CARRYING THE TORCH

BY JOHN TAFFIN
10. SKEETER RESURRECTS THE 44 SPECIAL


John Taffin's Book of the .44
Book Of The .44

Forgive me, I know this is a S&W forum but I fell in love with the Ruger below.

Ruger GP100 Five-Shot 44 Special Double-Action Revolver

by Jeff Quinn
Ruger GP100 Five-Shot 44 Special Double-Action Revolver

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Old 05-04-2018, 08:35 PM
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Alloy elasticity must be married up with the amount of pressure and the speed of pressure build up which is exponential;internal ballistics is so fascinating!
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Old 05-04-2018, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest r View Post
Odd no one bothered to actually go to the rim rock website and look that bullet up.
Obviously you didn't read my post. I even provided the link to Rim Rock for that bullet. Odd in deed.

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Old 05-05-2018, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUEDOT37 View Post
Obviously you didn't read my post. I even provided the link to Rim Rock for that bullet. Odd in deed.

.

Actually I did read your post. No where in it did you point out these are an extremely hard 15bhn bullet. You did however say they probably can be used in 44spl's. That you gave up on using cast bullets, too fickle.

Myself on the other hand have cast/shot cast bullets since the 80's and still shoot #300+ of them a year. I did try to point out that a 15bhn alloy for cast bullets is very hard and they need pressure to get any real performance out of them. Typical alloys I use:

range scrap ='s 8/9bhn air cooled cast bullets that I use in the 38spl's/44spl's/45acp's
range scrap water dropped ='s 12/13bhn these harder cast bullets I use for P+38spl's/p+44spl's/p+/45acp's/357's/44mags
Pure lead/mono-type mix 4# to 1.25# ='s 15bhn air cooled used in high powered rifles with loads up to 40,000psi
pure lead/mono-type 4# to 1.25# mix water dropped ='s 22/23bhn used in high powdered rifles with 40,000psi+ loads

There are formulas out there to help reloaders get an idea of the pressure/load you should try to use to match the alloy/bhn to the pressure needed for cast bullet obturation. A simple formula is:
the bhn x 1440 ='s the minimum pressure needed for that alloy

Note: "MINIMUM" pressure, you can higher pressures then the "MINIMUM" pressure the formula gives you.

My alloys:
8bhn x 1440 ='s 11,500psi
12bhn x 1440 ='s 17,300psi
15bhn x 1440 ='s 21,600psi
22bhn x 1440 ='s 31,600psi

Anymore I use nothing more than range scrap and water drop the cast bullet then pc them. I use those bullets in anything from 38spl target loads to full house 44mag loads.

Chronographs are a beautiful thing. They will show you if the alloy you're using is too hard for your load. I used to do this all the time when I found an accurate load. I'd cast softer and harder bullets and re-test that load looking for 2 things. Accuracy to stay the same and either increases in velocity or decreases in velocity. Others have known this for decades and do the same thing, namely test the alloy/load for the best seal/ obturation. Using pc takes all of this out of the picture!!!

A link to tests done with 4 different firearms using the same loads/cast bullets. The difference is bullets were cast out of mono-type (22bhn) and wheel weights (12bhn).
Cast bullet alloy's and bullet obturation

The load used in the tests was in the 16,000+psi range and the softer ww alloy did 40+fps faster than the mono-type alloy with all 4 firearms.

Hence my statement:
Those 15bhn bullets shouldn't be labeled 44spl. Can you use them in light cowboy action loads????
Absolutely!!!!
They will be poor performers and will lead easier than the same bullet cast with 8bhn alloy.
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Old 05-05-2018, 08:00 AM
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I've been out of the buying bullets loop for decades. I get it, $.10 a bullet for the 44cal's is a good price. A 200gr 44cal bullets is not only versatile they hit hard, extremely hard!!!

Never gave it much thought. I should start passing along deals on bullets when I see them.
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Old 05-05-2018, 10:39 AM
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Purchase 100 of the bullets and follow load data for cast lead bullets, not jacketed. See how they perform...If you are satisfied then order a bunch . If unsatisfactory....go to plan " B ".
All the discussion in the world will not answer your question...using the correct load data then burning a little powder will give you the answer .
I've shot cast lead bullets for over 50 years , using cast bullet data (Lyman and RCBS ) with no problems and great accuracy.
I have even won several trophies (NRA Bullsey Match) with cast bullets.
Give it a go but use the correct load data for cast bullets.
Gary
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68Dave View Post
I was reading that lead may be more accurate than plated or jacketed. I’d like to try some. Mid south has some lead 44 Rim Rock bullets on sale for just
$10 per 100. They are advertised as 44 special,
and not magnum. Does that simply mean they are softer and need to run more slowly to minimize leading? I have special cases, I just hate to reset all my dies. Would I be better of with another lead bullet to try?
The gun is a 629-4 with 6.5 inch barrel.
I’ve been loading with 231 and cfe-p. Standard LP.
Thanks,
David
Dave-The main concern with using lighter bullets with low velocity in your 44 mag is if your sights can be adjusted so poi=poa. Am shooting lighter bullets in 44 mag/45lc and usually have to have a taller rear sight blade. Fit to cylinder mouth becomes more important with shorter bullets.

231 is fine powder for that bullet, but as others have stated, you may have to settle for slightly higher velocity's than what you would get with a 44 special case to keep pressures up enough.

Am using a lot of 200 lrnfp's in 44 special, 45 acp and 45 lc. Tried them in 44 mag, but have the 44 specials to use and prefer 44 mag for other loads.
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