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Old 01-23-2021, 04:23 PM
Mfy3624 Mfy3624 is offline
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First time posting ,
Picked up 500 rounds of SNS casting 240 gr LSWC
trying to come up with a good target load ?
I will be loading for my 629 classic 44 mag
And using w231 because I have quite a bit of it and cci300 primers.
I tried 10 grains of W231 per Hodgdon website trying to get around 1200 fps. Shot twelve rounds and appears to be some lead build up. A little fast for lead ? Iíve been loading for years but this is my first attempt at cast bullets .

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Old 01-23-2021, 04:58 PM
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I use unique powder for all my leadcast bullets. I get very little to no leading. At the end of the shoot I do run some jacketed just a few rounds.
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:07 PM
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Try them at 900-1000 fps
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:15 PM
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Your cast bullets may not fit your gun well and 231 is not the best powder for 1200 fps velocity; it's a bit fast burning for that speed. However stick with it anyway and try backing your load down a half grain or a grain at a time to around 8 grs. to see if leading will stop and check the accuracy as well. Shoot at least one 6- or 10- shot group at 25 yards benchrested with each load change. If you really "need" 1200 fps, I'd try a slower powder like #2400, if you can find it.
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:44 PM
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I’ve had a similar experience with W231 trying to push cast bullets hard out of a 357. I’ve found unique and 2400 to be my favorite powders for cast midrange and magnum loads
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:45 PM
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Try 7 grains for a more pleasant load.
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:03 PM
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Try seeing how your bullets fit the chamber throats on your revolver. They should go thru with a little resistance. If they just drop thru, they are a little undersized, and combined with a hot load and a bevel bullet base, can lead to leading. Also pay attention to where the leading is occurring. If its mostly in the first half of the barrel, its usually poor bullet fit, if mostly the end of the barrel, its usually a lube failure.

Agree with the above posters - 231 is not an ideal powder for magnum strength loads in the .44. Too fast and peaky for the application. Personally, I like Red Dot with a 240 cast SWC, at about 900 - 950 fps. It works well in most of my guns. I use W231 also for similar loads, and it works well at those velocities.

A trick I tried several times with commercial cast bullets that were leading a couple of my guns was to roll some blackpowder "Wonder Lube" on them before seating. Kind of a pain, but it did reduce leading in those guns quite a bit, at least at the sub max velocities I usually use. Gas checked bullets can also make up for less than perfect bullet fit or a less than smooth bore, but both are band aid approaches to the real issue of good bullet fit.

Larry

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Old 01-23-2021, 06:45 PM
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I’ve ran those SNS to 1200 fps, but I used 2400 to get there. Those coated bullets are hard and can be pushed fast.
David
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfy3624 View Post
First time posting ,
I tried 10 grains of W231 per Hodgdon website trying to get around 1200 fps. Shot twelve rounds and appears to be some lead build up. A little fast for lead ? Iíve been loading for years but this is my first attempt at cast bullets .
MFY3624 - How was the accuracy of your loads at that estimated velocity?
I don't load .44 mag for handguns, but do load cast 220 gr. Keith SWC's in .41 mag for my Rugers and S&W's. 6.8 grs. of W231 and CCI #300 primers will group ~2.0" at 25 yds. in my revolvers - with NO Leading. Chronographed velocity is +/-1,000 fps.
I've pushed the same bullets to over 1,200 fps. (actual chronographed velocities) with no leading, but I was using 2400 powder.
I would check the diameter of your bullets - they should be at least .429", .430" would be better. Undersized alloy bullets pushed too fast will leave a lot of lead behind.
I would suggest dropping the velocity of your loads down to the 900 fps range and see how they do. Don't give up on shooting cast bullets, they're less expensive than jacketed and will handle at least 97% of your handgun requirements. The learning curve is just a bit longer.

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Old 01-23-2021, 06:57 PM
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This is not the load the original poster is looking for, but I don't load .44 magnum anymore. I use a 231 load (6 grs.) in .44 Special with a 200 grain flat nose (SAECO mould) cast from wheelweight alloy and sized to .432". Muzzle velocity from a 4" barrel is, I think, around 830 -850 fps, from my 29 and 24-3s.

Accurate and pleasant to shoot. I loaded .44 Magnum for more than forty years and now I'm not sure why I did that.
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:00 PM
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Thanks for the info .
They were very accurate , I’m using a red dot and the group was under six inches at fifty yards . The bullets measure .429 to .430 you can not push them through the cylinder . I’m getting exactly .429 on all six of the exit bores .
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:33 AM
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Try your cast lead bullets at about 900 fps using Unique or perhaps Red Dot. BTW in .41 mag target loads with cast bullets Red Dot is the berries!
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Old 01-24-2021, 06:12 AM
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Everyone has opinions based on their experiences and here are mine. Forget crappy Unique. You can’t find a better powder for your loads than your 231. 1200 FPS is too fast for target loads. Use 8 to 8.5 grs of 231 for around 900 to 1,000 FPS depending on your barrel length. Make sure you use a good roll crimp in the crimping groove of your cast bullets.
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Old 01-24-2021, 06:53 AM
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8 grains of W231 and a 250 grain cast bullet has been my favorite general purpose load for the .44 mag for over 30 years.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:52 AM
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10 grains of Unique and Elmer’s bullet is very accurate in all of my revolvers.
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Old 01-25-2021, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfy3624 View Post
First time posting ,
Picked up 500 rounds of SNS casting 240 gr LSWC
trying to come up with a good target load ?
I will be loading for my 629 classic 44 mag
And using w231 because I have quite a bit of it and cci300 primers.
I tried 10 grains of W231 per Hodgdon website trying to get around 1200 fps. Shot twelve rounds and appears to be some lead build up. A little fast for lead ? Iíve been loading for years but this is my first attempt at cast bullets .
I like to keep lead at 1000 fps or less, except for my really hard cast, gas checked hunting loads.

Try 8 to 8.5 gr. of Unique.

If you're insistent on 231 just drop down to the 1000 fps mark. To me, 231 is kind of fast for anything other than lower velocity target loads in the 44 mag.
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Old 01-25-2021, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithra_66 View Post
I like to keep lead at 1000 fps or less, except for my really hard cast, gas checked hunting loads.

Try 8 to 8.5 gr. of Unique.

If you're insistent on 231 just drop down to the 1000 fps mark. To me, 231 is kind of fast for anything other than lower velocity target loads in the 44 mag.

This.

About 10 grains of AA#5 will do the trick. This load is not listed in the AA reloading guide. I extrapolated it from .45 Colt data in the AA guide.* Accurate, punchy but not painful, easy on shooter and gun, and should kill any game in North America, if used for hunting.



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Old 01-25-2021, 03:48 PM
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Asking about cast bullet loading on a forum will produce a lot of "Old Wives' Tales" and plain old misinformation.

I have reloaded cast bullets in my S&W 629, Ruger SBH, Dan Wesson 44H, Contender and Puma carbine starting in '88. I have reloaded everything from cast 123 gr. balls to 300 gr. ingots. Normally I prefer Unique, Universal, 2400 , but I have used, quite successfully, W231 (9.9-11.0) and Bullseye (8.9-9.8 gr) in magnum loads to close to 1,200 fps.

The single most important factor in loading/shooting lead bullets is bullet fit (I didn't see the bullet diameter on the SNS website, measure yours and for starters .431" is a fair starting point). Bullets must be larger than groove diameter to seal the bore and prevent leading, so I size (or purchase) my bullets to the same diameter as the cylinder throats. I have driven my cast (429421 plain base, BHN 12) to well over 1,200 fps many times with no/minimal barrel leading (fit is very important!).

This will get you started, but I recommend getting a copy of Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook (3rd Edition is a bit better than the 4th, if you can find one) and hanging around the Cast Boolit forum Cast Boolits

Last edited by mikld; 01-25-2021 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 01-25-2021, 06:15 PM
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Elmer Keith who was the father of the 44 magnum believed in a bullet alloy of 1 part tin to 16 parts lead which gives a Briin
ell Hardness Number (BHN) of about 10. This is very soft by today's standards but Elmer apparently had no particular problems driving cast bullets over 1200 fps. Today's commercial cast bullets are usually composed of an alloy of 6% Antimony, 2% Tin and 92% Lead for a BHN of 18 which is quite hard. There is a school of thought that believes incorrect bullet obturation is a major cause of barrel leading and that a BHN of 12 is a good temper for general purpose shooting, 14 BHN for magnum handgun, and 18 BHN for rifle loads. Under this theory, your leading problem may simply be caused by an incorrect bullet hardness for your application and a softer, more plastic bullet may cure your problem. Food for thought....
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Old 01-25-2021, 06:51 PM
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It’s been a while since cast bullets, but I used Wheel Weights to get Antimony and I added Pure Tin.
I had a bunch of pure lead and added some of that.
Loaded 44s and 357s at about 1200.
Recall more leading in my 357s than my 44s.
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Old 01-25-2021, 11:04 PM
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I don't think anyone doubts that you can shoot a 12 BHN bullet at 1200 fps without leading. If it fits right, it will work. However, it's often easier to get good accuracy and freedom from leading with a slower powder, especially if you haven't had a lot of experience with cast bullets. The slower powders are often (not always) a bit more forgiving. It can be done with faster powders like 231, just takes a bit more work and experimentation. I'd certainly suggest #2400 to start with. Gain a little experience, then try the faster powders if you wish.
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:04 AM
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forget the 1200fps it really doesn't matter & should be the last thing on your mind.

If you're looking for accuracy then do ladder testing with all the powders you have on hand that are known target load powders.

I have a 629 classic also and use a redot on it. When doing test loads I put a burris 7x scope on it. i have several "target" loads for that 629, quit testing when I found 13 different loads that would do 1 1/2" or less 6-shot groups @ 25yds.


6.0gr to 6.5gr of clays with any 200gr to 250gr bullet
6.5gr to 7.0gr of bullseye with any 200gr to 250gr bullet

Redots can be challanging to say the least. I put a burris fastfireIII on a 10" bbl'd contender to play around on the 100yd line beating & banging on steel between set with a 308w/cast bullets. I stapled up 5 50yd smallbore targets and used the top 3 targets to zero that redot. Man, a couple of clicks go a llllloooooonnnnnnnggggg way. Once I got the hang of how much to move the dot (clicks) and used to the 3MOA dot covering the black/consistent centering, I started on the bottom 2 targets.


Shot the bottom left target 1st, was still having trouble with the dot so I turned the brightness down 1 setting and shot the bottom right target. Ended up giving the redot 1 click down & 1 click right and started banging steel. Don't take much stock in 3-shot groups other then sighting something in. The bottom left target was 3 1/2", the bottom right was 1 1/2".

That final sight in target, 3-shot group @ 100yds using a 260gr bullet & 7.0gr of bullseye in 44mag cases using a 10" bbl'd contender rested sitting at a shooting table/bench.
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Old 01-26-2021, 04:27 PM
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[QUOTE=Forrest r;141041100]forget the 1200fps it really doesn't matter & should be the last thing on your mind.

I tend to agree with you for the most part, but some handloaders want to push bullets fast in this cartridge since that's what why it was developed.

I've done all the .44 Magnum loading I'll ever do and stopped doing it some years ago. I much prefer mild recoil and the best in accuracy. Nevertheless, some pretty accurate, fast .44 Magnum loads that don't lead can be assembled. But there's no getting around the heavy recoil.
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Old 01-26-2021, 05:09 PM
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A side note; when I started reloading/shooting for my 44 Magnums I has a raging case of "Magnumitis". Many of my handloads were at or near the top and I guess I liked the wrist breaking recoil and sonic boom muzzle blast. But I have grown up and most of my handloads are on the lower side of Magnum data, and a lot are made with right out of the book Special data. I do have my "T-Rex load" but I don't shoot it often (T-Rexes are protected in my state); cast Ranch Dog 265 gr RNFP over max loads of WC820...
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Old 01-26-2021, 05:09 PM
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Heavy recoil isnít much fun after a while, unless youíre hunting, whatís the point of higher velocity, paper, golf balls, and beer cans donít need heavy hitting loads.

Iíll blast a couple cylinders of magnums every now and then, 21gr 2400, 210gr gdhp bullets, work great in both revolvers, not any fun after that, back to the powder puff and cheaper to load specials.
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Old 01-26-2021, 06:06 PM
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I think most of us at one time liked to have some loads that would turn the heads of the people at the local range and give you a weird look as to say, what are you shooting.

It is making me vibrate !! :

However I seldom feel the need to impress people that I can still hold on to my pistols and revolvers with the "Ti-Rex Loads", like I did when I was a lot younger and in top physical condition.

Just a few years ago I had a "Magnum Load" get away from me on the first round. I realized that my grip and thoughts were not where they should be and I placed a lot more pressure on the revolver grip. The following five shots were not "Flyers".

Have fun with you testing.
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Old 01-26-2021, 09:31 PM
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Unique works best behind a bullet that's heavy for caliber. Example would be 240 gr in .44 Spl/Mag, 210 in .41 Mag and 158 gr in .357 Mag. It does not burn fully with light for caliber bullets.
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:57 AM
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I know you are talking 231 but 30 years ago I had a good scope on my 29-2 and 17.5 of 2400 was the most accurate bench load for me with a 240 swc. I tried several powders. My Ruger liked Unique better.

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Old 01-27-2021, 09:23 AM
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There is always the option of 44 Special instead of full house magnum loads for plinking.

Last edited by IrishFritz; 01-27-2021 at 09:25 AM. Reason: add word
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:13 PM
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If your goal is to develop target loads with what you have, just drop the charge. Start at 7gr and go up 1/2gr until you find the sweet spot. 1200fps is not really a "target" load and is best achieved with slower powders. Top loads with fast powders will beat up a revolver faster than top loads with slow burning powders.
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:49 PM
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I'm using 9.0 grains of Longshot with 240 grain cast - no leading and just under 900 fps.
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:54 PM
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I don't have a .44 Mag. revolver (just a Marlin 1894) but FWIW I looked up my Lyman 49th ed. manual and they only show two 231 loads, for a 180 gr. JHC and a 210 gr. cast (Linotype), the latter from 9.3 gr. (914 fps.) to 12.8 gr. @ 1191 fps. Interesting that they highlighted it as a "best" load for that bullet, given that it's generally thought to be too fast for the. 44 Mag. I'd guess you might get 1000 fps. from a 240 gr. but the leading suggests, as others have said, a less than perfect bullet fit. "Micro-tinkering" with the load and/or lube might fix that.
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Old 01-27-2021, 01:09 PM
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I'd add that if you avoid hard cast bullets, you'll still likely get some leading but soft lead cleans out very easily. Hard cast not so much.
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Old 01-27-2021, 01:13 PM
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I'm not going to say that you cannot get good results with fast powders like Bullseye and W-231 in the 44 Magnum caliber, but I think it is easier to get good results with a medium burning rate powder. Unique and the 44 Magnum go together incredibly well. Typically 8 to 10 grains of Unique under a 240 grain hard cast semi-wadcutter will produce excellent accuracy.
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  #35  
Old 01-27-2021, 01:34 PM
TIMETRIPPER TIMETRIPPER is offline
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Accuracy and max velocity often doesn't go hand in hand. As said, with lead bullets the proper bullet diameter is important. I don't shoot a 44 Magnum but I've found with both my 357 and 41 Magnum loads, the harder bevel based commercial bullets with BHN of 16 tended to lead at the back of the barrel more so than my softer flat based home cast, BHN around 12. It takes more experimentation when loading lead than with jacketed. And the hotter burning powders usually wont do as well. It's all part of the game. Have fun!

John
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Old 01-27-2021, 07:50 PM
cowboy4evr cowboy4evr is offline
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It's interesting that you say , " 1200 fps " . If you are using that velocity in preparation for a hunting load , then I understand . W231 is a good powder but not really the powder for what you are wanting " 1200 fps " . My choice powder for what you are wanting would be IMR 4227 with a " full " magnum primer --CCI 350 . My experience has always been that whenever you push a powder too hard , yes the velocity will increase , but the pressure really spikes and the accuracy falls off . If using load data from Hodgdon's , be sure and check the barrel length used in their testing . It can show much higher velocity with such a long barrel and NO barrel to cylinder gap as they use a test barrel . Each inch shorter barrel can result in a velocity loss of between 35-50 fps . Just my results , good luck . Regards Paul
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:32 PM
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Bullet is of unknown alloy. I shoot nothing but cast in everything except 9mm and SBH that is loaded 240JHP / 2400 magnum load for deer. I shot Kieth style 240Sswc / gas check for years with heavy charge of 2400. Now load 240 plain base with Unique at 850fps. This means nothing if bullet is to hard. Guy think leading is from too soft, I think itís mostly from casting straight wheel weights. Personally the only leading Iíve had was in 25-5 with Speer Lead bullets. I believe they are swaged not cast. I was running them about 800fps with Unique and they leaded the worst Iíve ever seen. Lead came out of the muzzel like foil.
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