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Old 08-10-2018, 12:21 PM
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Hi:
Loaded the following rounds:

1. 3.1 grs Bullseye w/ 240 grain Magtex LSWC

2. 4.1 grs Bullseye w/ 240 grain cast LSWC

3. 5.0 grs Bullseye w/ 240 grain cast LSWC


Fired from a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 spl w/ 3" barrel (old model with exposed ejector rod.)


most bullets "Key Holed". accuracy "SO-SO". best accuracy was 5.0 grain bullseye.


Targets at 7, 15, and 25 yards.


Opinions ?


Thanks,
Jimmy
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:24 PM
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try Unique-a 240 grain LSWC over 6 1/2 - 7 or so grains of Unique is what has worked for me.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:26 PM
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Define "accuracy."
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:30 PM
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Slug and mic' the throats and bore. Hopefully, the throats are larger by a mil or two and your bullets are at least the diameter of the throats.

Edit: a search on bulldog throats found 2 possible issues on the early guns, first, throats in the 431-432 or larger range, and secondly - the bore diameter is reduced where it's threaded into the frame - like 427 groove vs. 429 for the rest of it..
If it was my gun the slug measurements on throats and barrels would be #1 priority.

Last edited by shocker; 08-15-2018 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike campbell View Post
Define "accuracy."
1. at 7 yards all hits in the head/face area

2. at 15 yards all hits in the chest/heart/lung area

3. at 25 yards all hits in the chest/abdomen area
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:54 PM
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Since the fast burning Bullseye is not doing it..........
you might try a slower burning powder like Green Dot or Unique
and see if the bullets shot any better, even Universal Clays if you have any.

I just hate it when those darn bullet go sideways, through my targets !!!
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:01 PM
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My older 29-2 and 29-5 do best with
5.1 gr Bullseye, 200 gr throat matched hard cast bullet, CCI 300 primer

my 29-6s do best with
8.4gr HS-6 and a matched 210 gr Sierra JHC, CCI 350 mag primer
they shoot into 1 exact hole at 25 yards

I do not use Unique as it will not meter for my machines.
I have almost a full pound left I use as BBQ starter.

Last edited by oysterer; 08-10-2018 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:01 PM
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With lead bullets its always proper fit. Slug/measure your cyl throats, then the bore. You want 0.001" larger than bore. If the cyl throats are small, wont matter wphat size bullet, it will swage down & accuracy suffer.
Measure your bullets, I wouldnt go smaller than 0.430", 0.431" better. How hard is the alloy? A harder bullet that is slightly undersize will skid. If it is soft enough, Enough pressure behind it, The base can bump up a bit to grab rifling.
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Old 08-11-2018, 07:06 AM
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Stating not only what powder was used, what bullet would be helpful.

Home cast?
Store bought?
Bullet diameter?
BHN?

More than most likely you have 2 different things (both bad) going on with your "lswc"'s.

I tend to use lighter bullets in the bulldog. Better poa/poi from 7yds to 25yds.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:59 AM
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5 grains of Bullseye will work just fine. Beg, borrow or trade for a handful of as many different 200 - 240 grain bullets as you can to try. Ten rounds of each recipe at 15 yds from a seated rest in the same session will give you a winner.
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:56 AM
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Is this out of a Charter Arms Bulldog ?



Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingflapjack View Post
try Unique-a 240 grain LSWC over 6 1/2 - 7 or so grains of Unique is what has worked for me.
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:02 AM
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44 Special 240 LSWC with Bullseye, the sweet spot for me was 5.2 grains.
LSWC GR 240 BULLSEYE GR 5.2 LO 755 HI 793 AVG 775 ES 38 SD 10.82

Best load with that bullet was 5.8 Grains VV N320.
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Old 08-11-2018, 12:15 PM
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For any accuracy and stability from a revolver using cast bullets, the bullets must fit the gun. Measure the cylinder throats (slug or use ball mics/gauges or pin gauges, not calipers) and size, or purchase, the bullets the same diameter. You may want to slug the barrel to make sure the groove diameter is smaller than the cylinder throat diameter. This works in all 7 revolvers I own that shoot cast lead bullets...
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Old 08-12-2018, 01:51 PM
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Keyholing would indicate the bullets aren’t large enough in diameter.
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Old 08-12-2018, 02:23 PM
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Keyholing is also caused by insufficient pressure. Suggest you change to Unique. With the 240 gr. LSWC bullet, 6.5 gr. of Unique is a good starting point.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:46 PM
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I load two rounds for this cartridge.

1.) 250g SWC over 6.5g W231/HP38 for @ 850fps (Snapper)

2.) 250g SWC over 7.5g Unique for @ 900fps (Skeeter)

Both are excellent
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:10 PM
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I define accuracy (and I'm not a good shot by any means anymore) as all rounds in the 8" circular target at 25 yds. Colt SAA, 5 1/2" barrel, Lyman 429421 bullet (original Keith bullet) 245 gns BHN 10 (cast 1:20 tin/lead) and 7.5 gns of Unique for 944 fps. SD 22.5

Last edited by Beemer-mark; 08-15-2018 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:37 AM
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Loaded the same LSWC bullet with 7.0 grains Unique.
Very satisfied with the results.
(this load lets one know you are shooting a real cartridge)

Jimmy


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshal Kane View Post
Keyholing is also caused by insufficient pressure. Suggest you change to Unique. With the 240 gr. LSWC bullet, 6.5 gr. of Unique is a good starting point.
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Old 08-18-2018, 02:28 PM
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Looking at the current Alliant Powder reloading site they show 6.3gr Unique as their 'max' load with a 240gr lead SWC.
Where does the 7.0gr with lead SWC 240 come into play?
I'm currently loading up some 44 Special with the newer Alliant Sport Pistol to try out.
Karl
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:25 PM
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Amazingflapjack recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by ontargetagain View Post
Looking at the current Alliant Powder reloading site they show 6.3gr Unique as their 'max' load with a 240gr lead SWC.
Where does the 7.0gr with lead SWC 240 come into play?
I'm currently loading up some 44 Special with the newer Alliant Sport Pistol to try out.
Karl
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Old 08-19-2018, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ontargetagain View Post
Looking at the current Alliant Powder reloading site they show 6.3gr Unique as their 'max' load with a 240gr lead SWC.
Where does the 7.0gr with lead SWC 240 come into play?
I'm currently loading up some 44 Special with the newer Alliant Sport Pistol to try out.
Karl
That's the problem with the 44spl, the load data flat out sucks as does most of the factory ammo offerings. They don't know it the data will be used in aunte-m's 1905 top break revolver or a modern firearm like the ca bulldog. So they do everything for the 1905 revolvers.

Decades ago (1950's) the NRA did tests with different cast bullets in the 44spl. The problem was that there was a lot of kaboom's going on because of the switch from the balloon headed cases to the modern solid head cases we use today. People were using the data designed for the balloon headed cases that had more volume then the modern cases. Less volume ='s more pressure which ='s more overloads/kaboom's. So the NRA put this out trying to educate reloads about the use of the modern 44spl solid head cases and the loads/pressures involved.
http://www.goodrichfamilyassoc.org/4...%20Special.pdf

In 2005 brian pearce did an article for handloader magazine #236 on the 44spl/reloads. It's excellent reading and breaks down the 44spl cartridges into 3 categories along with which firearms are safe to use/shoot loads listed in each category.
http://www.goodrichfamilyassoc.org/4...%20Special.pdf

I've owned/used/shot ca bulldogs for 30+ years and still do to this day. Great little revolver that hits hard.

I'm glad the op figured it out. I asked about the bullet he was using. Tumbling is typically caused from under sized bullets. Too light of a load/too hard of a alloy and the bullet will not bump up in diameter.

Heavier load ='s more pressure which ='s obturation of the bullet and stops tumbling.
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:52 PM
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Many balloon head cases had mercury used primers, the mercury attacked the zinc in brass alloy making for case failures. According to Gen Hatcher.
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:55 PM
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I am currently loading 44 special for my newer Ruger Flattop 44 special. I think ity is made on the newer lighter Black Hawk frame. Is it OK for pretty heavy loads...like the ol Skeeter loads? Charter Arms Target Bulldog is a nice shooting gun but really not heavy enough for any heavy 44 cal loads
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeet 028 View Post
I am currently loading 44 special for my newer Ruger Flattop 44 special. I think ity is made on the newer lighter Black Hawk frame. Is it OK for pretty heavy loads...like the ol Skeeter loads? Charter Arms Target Bulldog is a nice shooting gun but really not heavy enough for any heavy 44 cal loads
Yes your ruger will have no problem handling hot 44spl loads.

The "Skeeter" load really isn't that hot. 7.5gr of unique pushing a lyman 429421 bullet. That 7.5gr load was actually considered loaded down/mild for the reloading data back then.
The ideal handbook #38 from 1951 (lyman hasn't bought out ideal mold co yet) lists a max load of 7.8gr of unique pushing the 429421 bullet. The lyman 44th edition reloading manual (1967) has max loads listed:
429421 8.0gr unique 429244 7.9gr uniquue
The lyman 3rd edition cast bullet manual (1980) has a max load of unique 6.9gr pushing a 429421 bullet with the pressure of 13,500cup.

On a side note:
Those 15.5gr & 16.0gr 2400 loads I posted in a picture above are actually on the mild side. Pearce took another look at the 44spl this year and did another writ-up with loads in the Feb 2018 #312 handloader magazine. I really liked the 2005 article but the 2018 article is a lot better. Pearce still broke the 44spl loads into 3 different categories. In the 2018/#312 magazine Pearce tested 2400 with the lyman 429215 bullet and used 17.5gr of 2400 for a starting load (page 46). That h&g #142 bullet is a clone of the lyman 429215.
Category 2 loads:
Pearce load ='s 220gr 429215/18.0gr of 2400 max
My load ='s 200gr swc hp (h&g #142)/16.0gr of 2400

A link to the 1969 skeeter article he wrote for shooting times magazine listing a 7.5gr load using a lyman 429244 bullet.
Handgun Loads
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Old 08-21-2018, 02:05 PM
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I do like the Thompson bullet and Unique powder. I also have much 2400 and H and IMR 4227. I think I am good to go on powder. Back in the safe I have an old first year Ruger Flattop 44 mag. I have put much of the 2400 and 4227 through it and must say the gun has held together all these years. But the 44 Sp flattop just feels so much better in the hand. I was hoping I could load the 44 Sp flattop to about 1000FPS with a 220-240 gr bullet
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Old 08-21-2018, 02:51 PM
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7.0 grains Unique gives satisfactory accuracy out of my old model Charter Arms Bulldog 3". However it is a "Stout" load even with Pachimeir rubber grips. I tried 6.0 and 6.5 grains Unique for a "less Stout" load. Accuracy was ok but a few rounds "Keyholed".
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Old 08-21-2018, 03:14 PM
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jimmyj , I would use a faster powder , bullseye , red dot , 700X etc . using anyone of those listed powders , I would start with 5.0 grs with a max of 6.0 grs with your 240 gr cast bullet . I have shot the 6.0 gr load in 44 spl using a 245 gr cast bullet with complete satisfaction . It has became my favorite , using IMR 700X . I got that load from Mike Ventorino's article in Handloader magazine .

Last edited by cowboy4evr; 08-21-2018 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingflapjack View Post
try Unique-a 240 grain LSWC over 6 1/2 - 7 or so grains of Unique is what has worked for me.
This combo has given good results for me in all my .44 spls. Not really hot, but solid, and can sting when fired from the lightweight guns.

I have had a couple vintage Bulldogs that were very ammo finicky. Both shot better with fatter lead bullets sized .430-.432 instead of .429 lead or any jacketed. Also had problems with low velocity heavy bullet loads not stabilizing. My Bulldogs and my Rossi 720 Covert but shot much better with warmish 200 grn RNFP lead over Red Dot loads.
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:30 AM
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Where did you come up with the 3.1 grains Bullseye? That load was probably plodding along at 500 FPS or less. 3.1 grains would be a light load in most .38 Special rounds. I wouldn't expect the bullet to be very stable with that light of a charge.
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