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Old 02-03-2021, 07:32 PM
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Default 44 Special All Purpose Loads

I'm looking for some good 44 Special all purpose loads - self defense and hunting. I have a S&W PC 629 with 7.5" compensated barrel. I use it for deer hunting here in Illinois using 44 mag loads. I have many 44 special reloads that were given to me years ago that have 200 HC bullets and 2400 powder. I use these for range work. I have several hundred Starline 44 special cases that I'm itching to load. I have Universal and H110 (probably too fast) powder to play with. Would appreciate advice on a good all purpose bullet and powder load. I can still locate powder so all suggestions welcome.
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Old 02-03-2021, 08:07 PM
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8 grains of Unique with a 200 gr. bullet is hard to beat.
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Old 02-03-2021, 08:33 PM
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7.5 grains of Unique with a 250 grain Keith SWC is hard to beat too. I use them exclusively in my Model 624.
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Old 02-03-2021, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithra_66 View Post
8 grains of Unique with a 200 gr. bullet is hard to beat.

I second this
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Old 02-03-2021, 08:42 PM
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Your Universal should work with loads close to the same as Unique. Try 6.5gr and work up to taste. I do not think you could buy a pound of Unique with a shotgun and a court order right now. Of course I could be wrong, it happens............
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Old 02-04-2021, 12:05 AM
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Don't know what powders you have access to, but here's some good accurate loads out of my 629 6". All powder coated cast bullets from Lee molds.

44Mag: 21.6 gr IMR4227 under 250 gr LRN2R 1190 ft/s

44Sp: 6 gr CFE Pistol under 200 gr LRNFP 1035 ft/s
5.9 gr Trail Boss under 200 gr LRNFP 890 ft/s very accurate
5.5 gr W231 under 250 gr LRN2R 800 ft/s
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Old 02-04-2021, 12:07 AM
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My usual load in .44 Special is a 240-grain cast SWC, 7.5 Unique, standard primer. Shoots well in my .44 caliber revolvers (Colt and S&W), accurate and controllable, plenty of power for any needs I have found.
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Old 02-04-2021, 12:50 AM
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My 629 6.5”, and srh 7.5 for accuracy likes 6.2gr unique, 210gr Speer gdhp, in starline special brass. This load hits golf balls at 50 yards every time.

Step up to 7.5gr unique and 240gr xtp, if not hitting, all over a golf ball at 50 yards, does more damage.

12gr 2400, either bullet above, accuracy is back, even more damage, and a nice fireball.

Save h110 for magnum woods duty.

Universal should do ok, as mentioned, work your way up.
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Old 02-04-2021, 01:22 AM
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I also use 7.5 grains of Unique with a 240 grain lead SWC.
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Old 02-04-2021, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithra_66 View Post
8 grains of Unique with a 200 gr. bullet is hard to beat.
Wowee! That is one hot hot load! I hope that is for the 44 Magnum. What is that running 1,300 - 1,400 fps? My pet load with a 240 gr swc is 6.8 gr Unique.
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Old 02-04-2021, 08:59 AM
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Thanks for all the replies!
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Old 02-04-2021, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeplorabusUnum View Post
Don't know what powders you have access to, but here's some good accurate loads out of my 629 6". All powder coated cast bullets from Lee molds.

44Mag: 21.6 gr IMR4227 under 250 gr LRN2R 1190 ft/s

44Sp: 6 gr CFE Pistol under 200 gr LRNFP 1035 ft/s
5.9 gr Trail Boss under 200 gr LRNFP 890 ft/s very accurate
5.5 gr W231 under 250 gr LRN2R 800 ft/s


I use a load similar to the 231 load listed above.
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Old 02-04-2021, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbedford View Post
Wowee! That is one hot hot load! I hope that is for the 44 Magnum. What is that running 1,300 - 1,400 fps? My pet load with a 240 gr swc is 6.8 gr Unique.
Try 12gr unique under 210gr bullet, real snappy,lol. Thatís in magnum brass.

Op, have you noticed unique is a preferred powderpuff powder? It works. Good luck finding it right now though, if you choose to look for it.
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Old 02-04-2021, 07:36 PM
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The OP mentioned he has access to Universal. Isn’t that supposed to be very similar to Unique? If it were me, I’d look at the manufacturer’s website for their recommendation for their powder and the bullet you want to use.

Froggie
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Old 02-04-2021, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dfish1247 View Post
Try 12gr unique under 210gr bullet, real snappy,lol. Thatís in magnum brass.

Op, have you noticed unique is a preferred powderpuff powder? It works. Good luck finding it right now though, if you choose to look for it.
Unique is my favorite for the 44 Special, but I have tried 231 a/k/a HP-38, which I found at a lgs last week, btw.
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Old 02-04-2021, 10:10 PM
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My favorite 44 special load is 6.0 grs of 700X powder using any bullet from 200-240 gr cast bullet . You can use Bullseye , Red Dot , Tite group powders also . If you desire a milder load , drop back to 5.0 grs . Regards Paul
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Old 02-05-2021, 12:54 AM
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I also use 5.2 grains of Universal with a 240 grain lead SWC for a nice target load.
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Old 02-05-2021, 01:07 AM
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Iíve settled on 6.5gr and 7.5gr of universal a 240gr swc. I get 910fps from my 3in 696 with 7.5gr. I get 1080 from a 5 1/2in Ruger Blackhawk 44spl.
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Last edited by dwh; 02-05-2021 at 07:00 AM.
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  #19  
Old 02-05-2021, 01:25 AM
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That load sounds fine, and you’ve received great advice, but you should read some articles by John Taffin. He’s written dozens of good ones on the 44 Special.
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Old 02-05-2021, 12:20 PM
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There are darned few things that a decent quality medium to heavy weight for caliber hard cast SWC won't do adequately well.
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  #21  
Old 02-05-2021, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbedford View Post
Wowee! That is one hot hot load! I hope that is for the 44 Magnum. What is that running 1,300 - 1,400 fps? My pet load with a 240 gr swc is 6.8 gr Unique.
That's a pretty medium level load actually.

It's nowhere near 1,300 or 1,400 fps...You'd be lucky to break 1,000 fps with that load.

I run 8 gr. of Unique in the 44-40 as well with a 200 gr. bullet and it's not even running at 900 fps in the larger cases.

The OP mentioned hunting and a "do-all" load and this would fit it to a tee. It's not unpleasant to target shoot with, it still has enough power for hunting, and it would work great for self defense situations.

Just looking at the Speer 15th manual and they list 7.8 gr. of Unique as max with a 200 gr jacketed bullet (they don't list lead), and it's only making 855 fps out of a 5.5" barrel.

This load should be plenty safe in all modern guns.

Last edited by smithra_66; 02-05-2021 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 02-06-2021, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbedford View Post
Wowee! That is one hot hot load! I hope that is for the 44 Magnum. What is that running 1,300 - 1,400 fps? My pet load with a 240 gr swc is 6.8 gr Unique.
Thatís a 200 gr load, not 240 gr.
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Old 02-06-2021, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbedford View Post
Wowee! That is one hot hot load! I hope that is for the 44 Magnum. What is that running 1,300 - 1,400 fps? My pet load with a 240 gr swc is 6.8 gr Unique.
Quote:
Originally Posted by daverich4 View Post
Thatís a 200 gr load, not 240 gr.
Attention to detail in reloading is somewhat critical.
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Old 02-17-2021, 12:44 AM
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9.0 Power Pistol and a Speer 200 Gold Dot.

7.5 Unique and a 240-250 LSWC.
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Old 02-17-2021, 02:01 AM
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I have a 5" GP100 and a 4 5/8 flat top Blackhawk Bisley both in .44 special, I am loading 180gr xtp's over 10gr's of VihtaVuori N350. I get great accuracy out of both revolvers, getting an average of around 1100fps.
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