Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-14-2018, 01:47 PM
safearm's Avatar
safearm safearm is offline
US Veteran
GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,636
Likes: 134
Liked 446 Times in 172 Posts
Default GT cast bullets in .44 Special

I mentioned in another thread that I has purchased GT Bullets' 190 grain LHP to start loading in .44 Special. I finished up a 50 round batch loaded with 6.5 grains of Unique, which according to Hornady's 9th Edition manual should yield about 800 fps. (Note: Hornady listed 6.5 grains Unique for 800 fps of a 180 grain lead Cowboy bullet and 6.6 grains Unique for a 200 grain JHP; there's nothing listed for a 190 grain lead bullet.)

Yesterday, I was able to get out between rain showers to try some out.

As others have said, I found the GT Bullets to be well cast, consistent, and easy to load. The attached photos show my results. I used a standard 3x5 inch index card as the target and aimed generally at the center (I should have used a target dot as an aim point). Using my Model 24 (6 1/2 inch barrel) I shot two 5 round strings at 15 yards. I did make a elevation adjustment between the strings, so it's not a true group size.

I shot a second 5 round group at 7 yards with my Model 396. I previously replaced the adjustable sight with a C&S Extreme Duty fixed sight, so I'll have to a little filing or offsight aiming to get the rounds to hit dead center.

Recoil in the Model 24 was slight, but noticeable. Recoil in the Model 396 was about equal to what I had experienced with factory rounds of the same weight, i.e., Federal 200 grain LSWCHP, Hornady 180 grain XTP, PMC 180 grain JHP; very noticeable, not painful or uncontrollable.

After I was finished, I looked behind the target stand at the red clay/sand embankment and found a couple of the bullets. The Brinell hardness of these rounds are supposed to be 11, but I think they're a bit softer. Although it's not very scientific, I've shot hundreds of rounds into the embankment and have recovered many, including JHPs, that have never expanded. A few quality rounds, such as Hornady Critical Defense, have expanded perfectly. So in a very subjective comparison in the same medium, I can say that the GT bullets expand as well as Hornady Critical Defense and better than the Federal 200 grain LSWCHP that I carry in my Charter Boomer. I didn't have time to try the rounds in my Charter, that's for another day.

In military aviator's parlance, I'm going to hold what I've got. I need to order another batch of bullets; I have plenty of cases, powder, and primer, and I'm going to load and fire more of the same formula. The last photo is a before and after shot.
Attached Thumbnails
GT cast bullets in .44 Special-mdl-24-w-190-gt-june-13-2018-jpg   GT cast bullets in .44 Special-mdl-396-w-190-gt-june-13-2018-jpg   GT cast bullets in .44 Special-recovered-190-gt-june-13-2018-jpg   GT cast bullets in .44 Special-gt-190-gr-lhp-june-13-2018-jpg  
Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Like Post:
  #2  
Old 06-14-2018, 02:45 PM
moosedog moosedog is online now
SWCA Member
GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,306
Likes: 3,669
Liked 5,889 Times in 1,578 Posts
Default

Nice evaluation and post. I just ordered some 44 and 38 caliber bullets from them. I like their design. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-14-2018, 03:15 PM
mikld's Avatar
mikld mikld is offline
Member
GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special  
Join Date: May 2012
Location: S. Orygun
Posts: 1,402
Likes: 879
Liked 744 Times in 445 Posts
Default

Clay is a pretty "firm" media. To me those bullets look like they truly are 11-13 BHN. Excellent hardness for handgun bullets...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-14-2018, 04:31 PM
andy52's Avatar
andy52 andy52 is online now
US Veteran
GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special  
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Missouri
Posts: 796
Likes: 1,135
Liked 1,403 Times in 429 Posts
Default

I've only tried their 250 gr Keith style in my .44 Specials, accuracy is outstanding but I haven't done a expansion test yet.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-15-2018, 11:26 AM
safearm's Avatar
safearm safearm is offline
US Veteran
GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,636
Likes: 134
Liked 446 Times in 172 Posts
Default

I was able to get out yesterday afternoon and try out my handloads in my Charter Boomer. For those who may not know what the Boomer is, I consider it Charter's version of an updated Fitz Special, i.e., 2 inch ported barrel, no front sight, no hammer spur, stainless steel receiver/alloy grip frame, DA only, black nitride finish, and of course, a serious caliber of .44 Special. I replaced the oversize rubber grips supplied with the gun with a set of smooth Barami grips (the hook is on the right panel) along with a BK grip adapter (picture 1).

Although there is no front sight, there is a milled groove in the top strap that can be used somewhat as a sight, but experience has shown that the rounds will always strike high on the target. On the target, I aimed at the center X in the ten ring and tried to smoothly pull the trigger. I've shot about 100 rounds of various makes of ammo through this gun, as well as in excess of 1000 dry fires, and the DA pull as probably about as smooth as it can get, although still heavy at about 10 pounds. The first round hit in the 8 ring. The next four were into the overlapping holes in the 7 ring. After 5 rounds, my hand was buzzing; this is definitely a load in the 800 fps range, although it's remarkably accurate in all of the .44's that I own (picture 2).

I reloaded and fired one more round into the base of the embankment so I could see the expansion of the bullet when fired from the short barrel. I had to dig down about 3 inches in the moist clay/sand (it had rained the night before but it had been sunny and in the high 80's during the day) to recover the bullet, which is shown along with other bullets I've recovered from the backdrop (picture 3).

I weighed one of the GT bullets and it weighed 189.4 grains. The three GT bullets I have recovered from the range have an average weight of 186.4 grains, or 98% weight retention (low-183.5 high-188.0).

As a very subjective comparison, other bullets that I have fired into the same medium are shown with the GT bullet. The 240 grain LRN was fired from a M24-6 and shows minor blemishing, but no real deformation. The two Hornady rounds and the PMC round were all fired from a M396-1. The Hornady Critical Defense expanded perfectly. The XTP was deformed, but didn't expand significantly beyond caliber. The PMC JHP cavity was packed solid with clay/sand and had little expansion.

I forgot to add in my first post that there was no evidence of leading in either the M24 or the M396; and subsequently, no leading in the Boomer.

As I said before, I think I have found the right bullet with the right load for what I want. I'll just hold what I've got.

PS-I placed an order yesterday with GT Bullets and it's already on the way. They are a great company to deal with.
Attached Thumbnails
GT cast bullets in .44 Special-ca-boomer-w-barami-grips-bk-adapter-jpg   GT cast bullets in .44 Special-charter-boomer-june-14-2018-jpg   GT cast bullets in .44 Special-bullets-june-14-2018-jpg  
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-16-2018, 08:26 AM
Forrest r Forrest r is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,062
Likes: 19
Liked 913 Times in 410 Posts
Default

A little reading on the 44spl with a bunch of reloading data
Index of /44_Special_Articles

You might want to actually chronograph that load and test it in wetpack. Wetpack ='s take bundles of newspaper and tape them together in 9" bundles and put them in a cooler. Fill the cooler with water and let it sit overnight. Take the cooler to the range and pull a bundle out, set it up on a table/ground and staple a target to it. Testing 265gr home swaged jacketed hp's to simulate 75yd/100yd hits tested in wetpack @ 25yds.


Ballistics by the inch is some interesting reading what a 6" bbl gets for velocity compared to a 2" bbl is huge/same loads
BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: Results

You've chosen a good bullet design with the correct sized hp for that snubnosed 44spl. Same 44cal swc cast with 3 different sized hp's.


Shot a lot of loads in my 624, testing loads using a 220gr hbwc.


Your boomer is shooting high because of the slow load. Heat that bullet up and it will easily drop the poi down 6". I've owned ca bulldogs for decades and do new testing every couple of years. Last year I tested these bullets/loads.


You should look around for some hbwc's/wc's for your 44spl's. That model 24 will shoot bugholes with them along with they are impressive in the short bbl'd 44cal's. I thinned the herd and am now down to 5 different 44cal hbwc's/wc's.


Enjoy the 44spl's, sadly it's 1 of those forgotten calibers that is not only extremely accurate. Even light loads in the snubnoses are real thumpers.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #7  
Old 06-16-2018, 08:54 AM
dr. mordo's Avatar
dr. mordo dr. mordo is offline
Member
GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special  
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 818
Likes: 1,885
Liked 1,190 Times in 445 Posts
Default

Forrest -

I've seen you post that before, and I always enjoy reading it. I personally find it very interesting when people like you and safearm post detailed info about their reloading experiments.

I do have a question - have you experimented with other powders? I've never worked with 2400, but I seem to recall some other folks saying that 2400 isn't a terribly accurate powder.

Last edited by dr. mordo; 06-16-2018 at 08:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-17-2018, 07:34 AM
Forrest r Forrest r is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,062
Likes: 19
Liked 913 Times in 410 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. mordo View Post
Forrest -

I've seen you post that before, and I always enjoy reading it. I personally find it very interesting when people like you and safearm post detailed info about their reloading experiments.

I do have a question - have you experimented with other powders? I've never worked with 2400, but I seem to recall some other folks saying that 2400 isn't a terribly accurate powder.

WOW!!
Thank you for that, there's a lot of really good reloaders on this website that do excellent posts on there test loads.

Yes I typically keep 8+ different pistol powders around to test/use. Most of my reloads are target loads that use powders like bullseye/clays/traiboss/wst.

The 2400 was used for short bbl'd sd load testing. When you get into short bbl'd firearms powder and bullet selection is huge. A while back I did testing with 38spl p+ loads/2" bbl using 10 different bullets and 6 different powders. Same load/same firearm would do up to 50fps difference by simply changing bullets. IE better bullet design.

Anyway, the 2400 loads were meant to knock down tall building in a single shot with minute of pie plate accuracy @ 50ft.

Right now I doing testing with hot loads in the 357's. I'm looking for 1200fps/158gr or 1150fps/170gr loads from a 2 1/2" bbl'd 357. The testing is being done with 2 1/2"/4"/6"/8"/10" bbl's. Probably should post the reslults when I'm done testing a sd load for the short bbl'd 586. They list the l-comp as having a 3" bbl. Reality is the bbl's is 3" long with a 1/2" comp on the end of the bbl & the actual bbl is 2 1/2"'s long.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-18-2018, 10:47 AM
safearm's Avatar
safearm safearm is offline
US Veteran
GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special GT cast bullets in .44 Special  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,636
Likes: 134
Liked 446 Times in 172 Posts
Default

I've been trying different loads lately and loaded some of the 190 grain LHPs with 7.5 grains of Unique, the same charge I use when loading the 240 grain SWC. Based on load tables, this load should run in the 900 fps range.

The attached photo is one of these rounds fired from my Charter Boomer. It went through a 8 inch watermelon, leaving a gaping exit wound (it blew out about a 3 inch section of rind and pulp) and penetrated about 1 inch into the clay sand backstop. I'm probably not getting 900 fps, more like a true 800 fps, but recoil and muzzle blast were very controllable, although after 5 rounds, I didn't want to shoot any more of these rounds. Weight retention was 95%.

This will probably be where I stay for my S&W 396 and Boomer. In both my Ruger GP100 and S&W 24-6, I shoot the Skelton loads all day without a hitch. I've been leery of using the 240 grain loads in the 396 and Boomer, but I think the 190 grain LHPs will work fine.
Attached Thumbnails
GT cast bullets in .44 Special-gt-190-gr-lhp-july-17-2018-jpg  
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #10  
Old 07-18-2018, 11:16 AM
rockquarry rockquarry is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,567
Likes: 3
Liked 1,180 Times in 655 Posts
Default

I shoot a 203 gr. FN bullet (SAECO mould) in .44 Special. I have not chronographed 6.5 grs. Unique, but 7 grs. gives a muzzle velocity of 855 from a 4" 24-3 and 890 from a 6 1/2" 24-3. 6.5 grs. Unique would probably be about 40-50 fps less than these figures, at least in my guns.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
pc'd bullets vs traditional cast/sized/lubed bullets Forrest r Reloading 63 02-07-2016 10:12 AM
Heavy cast bullets in the .44 Special Ballard Reloading 25 11-12-2015 02:18 AM
Coated Cast Bullets vs Regular Cast Bullets retired2006 Reloading 27 05-10-2015 09:29 PM
.44 Special, cast bullets and 231 David Sinko Reloading 8 09-19-2009 03:18 PM
9mm cast bullets in .38 special plinking loads Smith357 Reloading 9 07-20-2009 07:18 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:52 AM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.42 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2018
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)