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Old 05-29-2018, 09:05 PM
55fever 55fever is offline
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Question 44 mag reload

been reloading about 1 1/2 yrs. never had a problem using generic bullets from us reload or everglades - but now that i have a 629 smith 44 mag the ole kind made in '86 - i am totally confused with all the differences for reloading them. one says you have to use the bullet in the recipe and nothing else - it seems the 21.1 of 2400 is a bit much and not ready to fire it yet - without more research. using a 220 grain bullet with starline brass, winchester primer for mag rounds --

any thoughts out there ?

thank you for your support and help

Last edited by 55fever; 05-29-2018 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:14 PM
992B 992B is offline
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I have been reloading 44 mag revolver loads since early 70's. With a mag primer, 20 grains of 2400 does fine with a 240 cast swc in my guns. For an all around load with a 240 grain cast, 9.0 grains of Unique will be a very useful loading. Enjoy!!
Gary
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:19 PM
Autonomous Autonomous is offline
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I don't know what the (?) recipe is.
With a pre endurance package 29 I'd stick to 240 gr or less bullets.
The endurance package was introduced in the 90s to cope with heavier bullets which were becoming somewhat more popular.
Plenty of good loads in the reloading manuals to choose from.
Enjoy the gun.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:34 PM
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Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
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Why do you want to start out with a 99% full load for that bullet?
Why not see what 18.5 grs will do and work up?

I have found that 96%loads are pretty accurate in most weapons.
Safe too.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:57 PM
Rosco Shooter Rosco Shooter is offline
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I agree with 992B. 9 grains of Unique with a 240 grain cast bullet gives you a nice thump, is accurate, and puts a nice hole in things.
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:55 PM
amazingflapjack amazingflapjack is offline
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My 44 mag load for my 629's is a 240 gran LSWC over 10-12 grains of Unique. Used it for years.
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:23 AM
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Default The reason reloading info....

The reason reloading books say to "Only use the exact components" is that they can't (who can blame them) take liability for stacking tolerances in unknown components. Larger bullets, tight barrels, difference in internal volume of cases, variations between guns, etc.

It's already been said here to start low and work up. If the diameter, weight and materials are the same, with considerations for bullet hardness and profile, I haven't had any trouble with similar components.

The Lyman manual is more forgiving of choice of components.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:13 AM
stansdds stansdds is online now
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9 grains of Unique under a hard cast 240 grain LSWC in 44 Magnum brass, ignited by a standard primer does make for a sweet shooting and typically very accurate load. Unique will not get you to magnum velocities, but it is an excellent mid-range powder

As for 2400 for magnum loads, start 10% below the listed maximum load and carefully work up.

Oh, and I agree, bullets no heavier than 240 grains in the pre-endurance package 29/629.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:55 AM
loc n load loc n load is offline
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Everybody seems to be on the same page here. My everyday load in 4” 29’s is a 240 gr SWC over 9 gr of Unique.
I shot metallic sil. with the 44 mag for years , shooting out to 200 yds standing with iron sights. My load in my 6” and 8 3/8” 29 was a 240 JHP powered by 18 to 20 gr of 2400.
The targets at 200 yds were steel rams that weighed 55 lbs. you had to knock them down to score.
That load would handle that chore if I could get it on steel.
I have also taken quite a few deer with both loads. The 240 gr bullet with Unique or 2400 will handle anything that I need a big bore handgun for.
As far as developing loads from loading data, I normally choose a bullet weight and start with the lighter recommended powder charges and work my up to where I want to be in down range performance.

Last edited by loc n load; 05-30-2018 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:23 AM
old&slow old&slow is online now
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Many years ago when I was shooting bowling pins, the load I used in my 44 was a 245 gr. cast SWC with 8 grs. of Unique.
Took the pin off the table, didn't beat me or the gun up.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:52 AM
MJFlores MJFlores is offline
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My favorite "range" load for my 629, one of which I've shot many thousands of is: Any old magnum brass, Fed large pistol primer, Berrys 240 grain plated bullet, and 8 grains of HP-38. It's a lighter magnum, easy on you and the brass. Very clean shooting too, and really accurate out of my 4" 629.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:49 AM
gen3guy gen3guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 992B View Post
I have been reloading 44 mag revolver loads since early 70's. With a mag primer, 20 grains of 2400 does fine with a 240 cast swc in my guns. For an all around load with a 240 grain cast, 9.0 grains of Unique will be a very useful loading. Enjoy!!
Gary
Ditto on the Unique load. My favorite .44 Magnum load. 1040 FPS out of a 4.6" SBH. Really fun to shoot.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:29 PM
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8.5 grs of WSF w/a 240 gr cast bullet makes a real nice load . I will include 7.0 grs of IMR -700X , red dot , etc w/a 240 gr cast bullet also makes a real nice everyday load , accurate and clean with enough power for most problems needing taken care of . It does 900 fps from a 4" barrel . Got that last load from Mike Venturino in a recent Handloader, mag . You don't need full magnum loads to enjoy the 44 magnum . The mid range loads posted here are my most used loads . Regards, Paul
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:43 PM
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The bullet makes the difference. You do not state if using:
swaged lead (soft) , cast lead (harder) or jacketed (much harder).
The different bullets require different charges....the bullet construction does matter.
It's also wise to not start at the maximum charge listed....just in case you have something wrong.
In reloading the details do matter...the reloading rules do not suffer fools gladly .
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:28 PM
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An S&W 629 is a 44 Magnum and safe to use any loads you find in your reloading manual(s). Choose a bullet (for newer reloaders I suggest a 240 jacketed bullet) and a powder (2400 is a good magnum powder) before they buy any components. This way you'll be ready to reload without having to search for loads. A 240 gr jacketed bullet (HP, SHP RNFP, etc.) is a tried and true bullet and very popular for reloading. Lads for a 240 gr bullet and 2400 should be available in prolly all reloading manuals...

When I got my 629 in '88 I had a full blown case of "Magnumitis" and all my handloads were heavy, near max. with slow powders. My loads"loosened up" my 629 and I shad to send it back to the factory for repair (barrel was turning to the left a few degrees). I now use light to mid loads for it and my 4 other 44 Magnums (I out grew my Magnumitis)...

Last edited by mikld; 05-30-2018 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:50 PM
apollo99 apollo99 is offline
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Most of my .44 magnum loads consist of those 240 gr. poly-coated lead SWC bullets, 8-11 grains unique and a large pistol primer. I have a few thousand bullets and I was shying away from taking out the "44 Magnum", but since I've down loaded them to mid power magnum loads I am enjoying the caliber more and more. Very accurate in my 5" 629-4, plenty of power to knock down the steel and ring the bells, and I get to be a big shot with a .44 on my hip.These Poly-coated bullets can be pushed to 2200 FPS, so I can go from mild to wild with out changing bullets.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:20 PM
reddog81 reddog81 is offline
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That's kind of a hot load and you don't mention the type of bullet. Most reloading data will tell you that you need to use the exact components they used to get the results they experienced. If you use different components the pressure and velocity will vary.

The data is only valid using the exact same primer, case, bullet and of course powder. Most of the time the variations between different types of cases are minimal, however some rifle cases can vary enough to cause problems with max loads. Primers are important with certain powders and you can experience incomplete combustion when not using the correct primers. Variations between bullets can make a big difference depending on how the bullet is constructed and the amount of bullet that is seated inside of the case.

When varying any of the components from reloading data you must take into consideration the impact this will have on the load. If you are unsure of the impact a change will have you should be conservative.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:09 PM
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^^^^^Did you copy and paste that out of a reloading manual?^^^^^
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Old 06-02-2018, 06:15 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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Like Nevada said;I'd start with 18.5gr of 2400 and work up.Not that your load is too hot considering you'll be using 220 instead of 240gr but you don't know what kind of mileage your 29 has in the body and since it is a pre E package,I'd start low and work up.
That's exactly the situation I went through 3 years ago and that .44 Mag still gives me excellent service.
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Old 06-03-2018, 02:11 PM
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Speaking of what kind of loads have been shot in the past that you don't know about is a good thought . My first model 29 was a -3 w/6.5 " barrel . I took it to my local gunsmith to have it checked out and serviced . He told me that it had absorbed a lot of hot loads in the past and i needed to back off full magnum loads , and that was using " current load data " to preserve it . I later sold it , bought only 29's with the endurance pkg . I'm not saying the earlier ones aren't any good to own , just saying the earlier ones often were abused and we don't know it . You have gotten some very good advice here from " Nevada Ed " and QC Pistolero among others . Good luck , Regards, Paul
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Old 06-18-2018, 06:18 PM
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I use 9-10 grains of Unique with a 240 cast bullet that weighs a little less in my 629-1.
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Old 06-18-2018, 06:35 PM
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I have three .44 Mag loads that fill all my needs, starting from lightest to heaviest and all using the same 240 grain LSWC.

7.5 grains of Unique for a .44 Special level load.
10.0 grains of Unique for a midrange load.
20.0 grains of 2400 for a heavier load.


I prefer the M29 to all other 44's and I don't feel the need for anything heavier than these three. I shoot the midrange load most often, as it gives you that magnum experience without beating up the gun or the shooter.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:57 PM
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The 7.5 grs of Unique is a good load , but if you want a " smoother " load , not quite as much recoil but great accuracy and clean shooting . Try 7.5 grs of WSF (Winchester Super Field ) with any 240-260 gr bullet . It has become a favorite of mine replacing the unique load . Regards, Paul
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