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Old 02-20-2021, 11:42 PM
Dragonwing Dragonwing is offline
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I was lucky to score 300 rounds of Hornady 240gr XTP JSP bullets. I've been reloading target loads for years but never any rounds for hunting. This year I decided to hunt with my 629 Classic DX. The lack of powder available is limiting me to use what I have on hand. I've got 11lbs of W231 and 4lbs of Unique. Checking my manuals, it looks like the Unique may give me a small edge over the 231. I know there are better powders out there for a good performing hunting load but I don't have that option at this point. The only other powder I have for my handguns is WSF, which I use when loading my 165gr JFP's for my 40 S&W. Any suggestions you can pass on to me will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-21-2021, 12:05 AM
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I would think a near max load of Unique would kill about anything within handgun range
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Old 02-21-2021, 01:28 AM
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Unique is one of the best all around powders you can use with a 44 mag.
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Old 02-21-2021, 02:01 AM
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I have taken several deer with the .44 magnum in revolvers and a rifle. I strongly suggest that for hunting loads you forget Unique and 231 and find a can of 296/H110 and use 24-25.5 grns with your bullets. I know this isn’t what you want to hear but powders are out there and one pound of powder is going to be a small investment in your quest for a deer compared to your other expenses. You owe it to the game animals to use enough gun.
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Old 02-21-2021, 02:25 AM
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240gr JHP, Unique @ 10.7gr is max in Hornady #8, for 1200mv/766me.

Should work within reasonable range.

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Old 02-21-2021, 02:27 AM
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I appreciate that 296/H110 are much better suited for a game stopping load, but I check regularly and there's just none of those powders available in the Spokane area. A couple of the LGS that really catered to the hand loader have closed and gone out of business. I was looking over my supplies and seeing $14.99 for 1000 primers and $18.99 for a pound of powder. Sure glad I stocked up when I did. Too bad I didn't anticipate loading for hunting rounds back then.
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Old 02-21-2021, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUEDOT37 View Post
240gr JHP, Unique @ 10.7gr is max in Hornady #8, for 1200mv/766me.

Should work within reasonable range.




.
Great shooting. My 629 Classic DX with 6.5" barrel included a test target shot at 25yards and had a grouping of 1". The shots on my property will be between 25-65 yards. That's why I put my scoped rifle away and decided to hunt with my 629. Unfortunately the 5 point Bull elk and 6 point(160 class) whitetail buck disappeared 2 weeks before opening weekend. I'm still trying to draw a moose permit as I've got a good Bull that's been coming through, the last 3years.
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Old 02-21-2021, 05:28 AM
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I use 2400 for magnum jacketed bullets and unique for leadcast target loads. I get the highest mileage out of these two powders. I can load more using less powder.
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:23 AM
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I normally Load 2400 Powder for Hunting Loads but of the 2 Powders You Have on hand Unique would be the best choice
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUEDOT37 View Post
240gr JHP, Unique @ 10.7gr is max in Hornady #8, for 1200mv/766me.

Should work within reasonable range.

.



.
Good shooting but if you chronograph your load you will probably see that actual velocity from your revolver is about 900 FPS, not anywhere near 1200 FPS. Not a deer hunting load in my opinion. Too many handloaders read the velocities listed in manuals and ignore the fact that the data came from long test barrels and are frankly, overly optimistic. Lyman data shows a max charge of 12.2 grs of Unique with a 240 gr JHP at 1047 fps from a vented 4 test barrel and 13.0 grs Unique with a 245 gr cast bullet at about 1145 FPS. All handloaders should own a chronograph to learn what their loads actually achieve in real firearms.

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Old 02-21-2021, 03:30 PM
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During the last shortage If I was out of power for a certain purpose I would write down my 4-5 top choices (some unfamiliar) so that if I saw power somewhere I already knew it could work. Sometimes V110 might sit on a shelf because it is less popular for a 44mag even though it is one of the best.
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:30 PM
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I don't think "normal" hunting rounds need to push the upper limit of charges. A whole lot of game has been taken with 44 Specials. I would use Unique to give a velocity high enough for the HXP's velocity threshold at the distance you will be shooting at (50 yds?).

Not an answer to your question, but I have been reloading 44 Magnums for a long while and for my hunting ammo I normally go with a 250-265 gr cast bullet (I like Ranch Dog design RNFP, accurate and efficient in my 5, 44 Magnums).
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Old 02-21-2021, 05:32 PM
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I would suggest loading just a few rounds of Unique starting with 9.5 , 10.0 and 10.5 . Then do the same with WSF and see which one is the most accurate . I am a real fan of WSF , but still keep Unique too . Every gun is different . Let it tell you which load it likes the best . Any of those loads will serve you well , given the right shot placement . People have " supposedly " taken deer with a 45 acp , 230 gr @ 850 fps out to about 30 yds . Regards Paul

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Old 02-21-2021, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld View Post
I don't think "normal" hunting rounds need to push the upper limit of charges. A whole lot of game has been taken with 44 Specials. I would use Unique to give a velocity high enough for the HXP's velocity threshold at the distance you will be shooting at (50 yds?).

Not an answer to your question, but I have been reloading 44 Magnums for a long while and for my hunting ammo I normally go with a 250-265 gr cast bullet (I like Ranch Dog design RNFP, accurate and efficient in my 5, 44 Magnums).
My wife picked up one box of 250 gr of Hornady XTP's so I'll check out some of the data for that bullet as well. My longest distance would be 65 yards. I just installed a Vortex Venom on my 629 after this past hunting season. We will be snowed in for a couple of more months before I can get out for some serious test shooting.

Last edited by Dragonwing; 02-21-2021 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboy4evr View Post
I would suggest loading just a few rounds of Unique starting with 9.5 , 10.0 and 10.5 . Then do the same with WSF and see which one is the most accurate . I am a real fan of WSF , but still keep Unique too . Every gun is different . Let it tell you which load it likes the best . Any of those loads will serve you well , given the right shot placement . People have " supposedly " taken deer with a 45 acp , 230 gr @ 850 fps out to about 30 yds . Regards Paul
I always start a new load charge of powder a little below the midway charge and just below the maximum safe range. I usually end up somewhere in between for the most accurate loads. I haven't noticed much loading info on the WSF I have. I'll do a little more searching for using it in heavier bullets and larger calibers.
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:35 PM
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Hornady's Performance chart for that specific bullet shows effective velocities from 900 fps on up... And up, and UP...!

If you don't want to go with UNIQUE, the WIN 231 load in Hodgdons shows well in excess of 1200 fps for the very similar Nosler 240gr JHP. Both bullets have cannelures and are described as hunting bullets.

Within 100 yds that surely ought to work as designed?

Cheers!
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benchrest1 View Post
Unique is one of the best all around powders you can use with a 44 mag.
I agree. That said, not the best choice for your application, but it will work. The XTP operates well between 800 and 1500fps. 9 to 10 grains of Unique will get you 900-1000fps in most 6" revolvers. No need to go any higher. You don't have the right powders to safely get 1200+fps. Stay within your limitations and you'll be fine.
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:57 PM
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In normal length barrels, Unique will surprise a lot of folks. It does a very good job of giving about 90% of max velocity compared to Magnum powders. I have fired more Unique loads than any other powder. I use a lot of other powders and some do a better job in different applications. Meanwhile I keep a coupla xtra pounds put aside because it is so versatile and can be used for so many different things. I will stop preaching to the choir now..........
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Old 02-22-2021, 12:17 AM
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To give you some real numbers, I ran some Zero 240 grain JSP bullets across my chrono loaded with 9.0 grains of Unique with CCI-300 primers a few years ago. These were shot out of my 6 1/2" barrel 629-3 Classic. The data is as follows:

Average velocity - 866 ft/sec
ES - 46 ft/sec
SD - 18 ft/sec
Temperature - 78* F

If I were loading up for hunting with those XTP bullets, I would load closer to 10 grains of Unique and maybe even a little higher.
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:02 AM
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12 grs would bring velocity up to around 1100 FPS out of a 6” barrel and would be a more acceptable load for deer hunting.
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:50 AM
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Id think any magnum load will take a deer, xtps mushroom real nice, think how many were dropped with black powder long colts, 25-20s and the like. Shot placement is whats important.
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Old 02-22-2021, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwslate View Post
Good shooting but if you chronograph your load you will probably see that actual velocity from your revolver is about 900 FPS, not anywhere near 1200 FPS.
Too many handloaders read the velocities listed in manuals and ignore the fact that the data came from long test barrels and are frankly, overly optimistic.
Hornady tested that load in a 7-1/2" Ruger Redhawk. The OP has a 6" M629.

He's not using my revolver & I didn't test that load to hunt 4-legged critters, only as a defense against 2-legged critters.

It's already been noted that it's not the optimal powder but that's the best the OP's got & should work for his needs.

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Old 02-22-2021, 07:22 PM
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FWIW--9.5g of Unique behind a 230g 429421HP chrono'd 1061fps outta one of my 629-3 Classic DX 5" bbl guns.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
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FWIW--9.5g of Unique behind a 230g 429421HP chrono'd 1061fps outta one of my 629-3 Classic DX 5" bbl guns.
Your load is a good example of why I generally prefer cast bullets over jacketed bullets in revolver handloads. Its way easier to get good velocity with cast bullets. With only 8.5 grs of 231 and a 250 gr cast 429421 SWC I got 1105 FPS out of my 7.5 Ruger SBH.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:03 AM
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I have not taken a deer yet with my 6.5" 29-2, but it has spent many hours in a tree trying to get a shot at one of our Bucks. The load I have worked up is 23.5 grains of Vihtavouri H 110 in Starline brass, using Barnes 200 grains TAX-XP solid copper bullets. great accuracy and speed is just a dab over 1400 for an average. That is one more huge hole in the front of these bullets and I expect no tracking if I do my part. The rifles went to all copper Barnes stuff 25-27 years ago and I will never shoot a game animal with a centerfire using lead bullets again.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:55 AM
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Well my favorite .44 magnum deer hunting load uses a lead bullet. A 250 gr cast Lyman 429421 SWC with 24 grs of W296 powder. Chronographed at 1416 avg fps out of my three screw Ruger SBH with a 7.5 barrel. I have taken several Whitetails with it from tree stands. The most impressive kill was a smallish buck that was facing me at about 20 yds. The bullet struck a bit higher than I intended, breaking the jaw, damaging the spine full length and I recovered the bullet at the base of the tail. Breaking bone, penetrating a buck lengthwise, instant kill, how could you ask more of a bullet?
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:09 PM
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I was reading an article about shooting a deer with a .223,, and how many say do not do it,,

Well the old 44 caliber rifles with WAY less energy than the .223 killed thousands of deer, powered by black powder.

The old 44 lever actions did not have the energy at the muzzle that the .223 had at 100 yards, and beyond,,
but, still lots of people argue against the .223,,,

The 629 with the 240 grain bullet,, and plenty of Unique will be just fine,,,

Personally,, I keep a couple boxes of factory ammo for hunting,, and plink ALL of my reloads.

I can not envision over 100 kills in the rest of my hunting time,, so I am good,,, I got WAY more factory 240 grain ammo than that,,

I will plink all of the 10 pounds or so of the Unique that I currently own,,
hopefully some of that powder will be used with bullets that I cast,, and powder coat,,,
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:08 PM
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I have only used the 429421 hard cast semi-wadcutter over 10 gr. of Unique for many years of deer hunting. On broadside shots, I have never recovered a bullet. All of the deer I have taken with this (6.5" 29-2) required only one shot. No shots were over 40-50 yards in the place I hunt.
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Old 02-24-2021, 01:17 AM
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Exclamation Well, now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonwing View Post
I was lucky to score 300 rounds of Hornady 240gr XTP JSP bullets. I've been reloading target loads for years but never any rounds for hunting. This year I decided to hunt with my 629 Classic DX. The lack of powder available is limiting me to use what I have on hand. I've got 11lbs of W231 and 4lbs of Unique. Checking my manuals, it looks like the Unique may give me a small edge over the 231. I know there are better powders out there for a good performing hunting load but I don't have that option at this point. The only other powder I have for my handguns is WSF, which I use when loading my 165gr JFP's for my 40 S&W. Any suggestions you can pass on to me will be greatly appreciated.
Well, now that you also have "4lbs. of CFE" there's that 12gr Hodgdons load for a 240 gr JHP @ 1300+ to consider...?

Last edited by STORMINORMAN; 02-24-2021 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:58 AM
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One rule I have lived by for handgun hunting loads for over fifty years,,,,,,,,,,,,If using a jacketed hollowpoint bullet, load them to the top of their operating velocity [safely in your gun] because when they make contact on game they act like a parachute and slow down rapidly. If using lead use a large flat nose bullet and it will penetrate well even at middle of the road velocities.
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Old 02-24-2021, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STORMINORMAN View Post
Well, now that you also have "4lbs. of CFE" there's that 12gr Hodgdons load for a 240 gr JHP @ 1300+ to consider...?
Sorry, I failed to mention it's CFE for .223 and not the one for pistols. I haven't used any yet, but I imagine the pistol powder might be different than the rifle powder. I'll have to do a little checking to make sure. Thanks.
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUEDOT37 View Post
240gr JHP, Unique @ 10.7gr is max in Hornady #8, for 1200mv/766me.

Should work within reasonable range.

.




.
Isn't that the velocity for a 10" test barrel?

Unique is a bit too fast to be driving a 240gr pill to 1200fps from a 4" barrel. Need AA9, ENFORCER, AA4100, 2400, H110/W296, LilGun, 300, etc.
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:51 PM
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My latest Hornady manual lists 10.7 gr of Unique as the top load with a velocity of 1200 f/s, NOT out of a test barrel.

Decades ago I used Remington 240 gr JHPs loaded at about 1100/1150 f/s to take a number of deer with one shot kills. Yeah, factory ammo was faster, but the hand load groups were 1/2 the size of factory groups way out there. I've never shot any critters with XTPs, but media testing suggests Hornady prioritized penetration over expansion. All my shots with the Remingtons were quartering shots and penetration wasn't an issue.

Should you run across some IMR/Hogdon 4227, it's a very good choice, but magnum primers are suggested.

Last edited by WR Moore; 02-24-2021 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:06 PM
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My " magnum " load using the Keith 245 gr swc (Lyman 429421 or HG 503) is 23.0 grs of IMR 4227 using a magnum primer . If that won't kill , get a rifle . These are fired out of a Smith 29-10 , 4" or 6.5" barrel . Regards Paul
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Old 02-25-2021, 01:54 AM
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Exclamation Two different powders: CFE vs, CFE-Pistol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonwing View Post
Sorry, I failed to mention it's CFE for .223 and not the one for pistols. I haven't used any yet, but I imagine the pistol powder might be different than the rifle powder. I'll have to do a little checking to make sure. Thanks.
Nothing to be sorry about: they ARE diffetent powders and please, DO NOT INTERCHANGE.

Cheers!
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