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Old 06-24-2022, 11:45 AM
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Default Unknown 44 mag reloads question

Hello all, I ended up with 40 44 reloads that are an unknown.


I believe in the "I don't shoot reloads unless I know what they are" rule, so this is more of an exercise than anything else..


I popped one open to see what was lurking inside.


The bullet is lead round nose with a flat tip, weighs in at

287.3 gr


The powder looks like Unique and weighs in at 14.4 grains


If Unique, what would this load be considered? Thanks


Pics, known unique, suspect powder, bullet....
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Old 06-24-2022, 12:56 PM
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Second the idea of not using these.

No one seems to mention using Unique for other than low-mid range .44 Magnum loads, 8.5-9 grains with 200 gr bullets in the 1000 fps range. Not sure what 14.4 gr would do if it is Unique.
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Old 06-24-2022, 01:39 PM
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I used to have a Ruger #1 custom barreled in .44 mag. If I got questionable reloads, I'd shoot them in that. The thing could eat dynamite.
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Old 06-24-2022, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RM Vivas View Post
I used to have a Ruger #1 custom barreled in .44 mag. If I got questionable reloads, I'd shoot them in that. The thing could eat dynamite.

Thanks, were talking S&W 629-1 8 3/8, I've read not to over feed them.


I'll knock them apart and have primered brass and some fishing weights.
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Old 06-24-2022, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
Second the idea of not using these.

No one seems to mention using Unique for other than low-mid range .44 Magnum loads, 8.5-9 grains with 200 gr bullets in the 1000 fps range. Not sure what 14.4 gr would do if it is Unique.

My first thought and a safe one, it will be interesting to see if the loads were consistent through the rounds as I take them apart.


I was just curious what the loader was trying to achieve? Who knows!
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Old 06-24-2022, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
No one seems to mention using Unique for other than low-mid range .44 Magnum loads, 8.5-9 grains with 200 gr bullets in the 1000 fps range. Not sure what 14.4 gr would do if it is Unique.

I show a 310gr swc or rn bullet with half the unique powder charge. Interesting....


"310 grain Lead SWC or RN + Gas Check (GC)

Bullseye 6.8 gr. 975 FPS

Unique 7.2 gr. 965

2400 13.5 gr. 1,150

2400 14.5 gr. 1,194

True Blue 9.6 gr. 977 start

True Blue 10.7 gr. 1,055 max

Enforcer 16.5 gr. 1,171 start

Enforcer18.3 gr.1,301 max"
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Old 06-24-2022, 02:11 PM
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11 grains of unique and a 240 gr SWC is a pretty stiff but manageable load.

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Old 06-24-2022, 02:16 PM
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Pull the bullets, dump the powder.
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Old 06-24-2022, 02:16 PM
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Good call on cracking them open and reusing the brass ... I have a box of .41 Mag that are reloads and I was going to do the same.
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Old 06-24-2022, 03:20 PM
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40 loaded rounds? Lots of us load 50 at a time. I wonder what happened to the other 10? Did you get any fired cases? If that was Unique, it would sure be interesting to have a look. How about broken revolver pieces? Any of those laying around?

I ran a similar bullet with 14.4 gr of Unique in Quickload. Peak pressure was very close to 79000 psi. More than double SAAMI's MAP spec. Ooof!

Perhaps it wasn't Unique; I certainly hope that's the case. But one can never know what some enterprising ballistician might try.
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Old 06-24-2022, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krogen View Post
40 loaded rounds? Lots of us load 50 at a time. I wonder what happened to the other 10? Did you get any fired cases? If that was Unique, it would sure be interesting to have a look. How about broken revolver pieces? Any of those laying around?

I ran a similar bullet with 14.4 gr of Unique in Quickload. Peak pressure was very close to 79000 psi. More than double SAAMI's MAP spec. Ooof!

Perhaps it wasn't Unique; I certainly hope that's the case. But one can never know what some enterprising ballistician might try.
I used to be an enterprising ballistician, mostly with shotgun trap loads. When I wanted to swap components around ( usually to save money), I used to call Hercules Powder down in Delaware. Those fellas had every imaginable component, and would load up 10 rounds of what you wanted to try, and give you velocity and pressures. I developed some nice loads working with them. Wonder if there is anybody around that would still do that.

As for your 40 rounds, I would tear them down, and reload them with a known powder. Magnum primers is probably a good assumption.

I found 50 44 mag reloads the other day in a box, but they are mine, and while not labeled, I know what they are, because I only used one load, near max using 2400 powder.
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:08 PM
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Just one more time! If those are what they are labelled they are dangerous!! Pull the bullets and re-charge with a known propellant and charge. If you use a kinetic puller you should be able to re-use the bullets, assuming they are not already under-size.
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:11 PM
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Once saw a Super Blackhawk with an expanded chamber.
The Cylinder wouldn’t fully rotate, the enlarged chamber caught on the bottom of the frame.
Most folks who saw it all said ‘DOUBLE LOAD.’
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krogen View Post
40 loaded rounds? Lots of us load 50 at a time. I wonder what happened to the other 10? Did you get any fired cases? If that was Unique, it would sure be interesting to have a look. How about broken revolver pieces? Any of those laying around?

I ran a similar bullet with 14.4 gr of Unique in Quickload. Peak pressure was very close to 79000 psi. More than double SAAMI's MAP spec. Ooof!

Perhaps it wasn't Unique; I certainly hope that's the case. But one can never know what some enterprising ballistician might try.

Pretty sure his nickname was "Johnny one hand"


Here are 30 down and 10 to go, that is a S#$@ load of powder for 30 bullets!
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:38 PM
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Powder is excellent grass fertilizer, sprinkle it beside sidewalk or driveway. Over the years friends would have unknown reloads, give them to me and say, hey shoot these. Never happened, alway pulled down, found some nice projectiles.
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biku324 View Post
Pull the bullets, dump the powder.
best answer here
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
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Just one more time! If those are what they are labelled they are dangerous!! Pull the bullets and re-charge with a known propellant and charge. If you use a kinetic puller you should be able to re-use the bullets, assuming they are not already under-size.



They were, 288 grain bullets with 14.4 grains of what appears to be Unique powder, if so, too hot for me...


All torn down and ready for a new loading. Thanks
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Old 06-24-2022, 09:50 PM
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Good thing you broke them down, that was a disaster waiting to happen. 287gr bullet with a powder like unique= kaboom.
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Old 06-24-2022, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbrgr1 View Post
Hello all, I ended up with 40 44 reloads that are an unknown.


I believe in the "I don't shoot reloads unless I know what they are" rule, so this is more of an exercise than anything else..


I popped one open to see what was lurking inside.


The bullet is lead round nose with a flat tip, weighs in at

287.3 gr


The powder looks like Unique and weighs in at 14.4 grains


If Unique, what would this load be considered? Thanks


Pics, known unique, suspect powder, bullet....
That was 2400, NOT Unique. That was a moderate load for that bullet weight - probably about 1100fps from a 5.5" barrel.
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Old 06-24-2022, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
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That was 2400, NOT Unique. That was a moderate load for that bullet weight - probably about 1100fps from a 5.5" barrel.

Just curious how you know what it is?? Either way, I am not willing to find out the hard way. Thanks
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Old 06-24-2022, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbrgr1 View Post
Pretty sure his nickname was "Johnny one hand"


Here are 30 down and 10 to go, that is a S#$@ load of powder for 30 bullets!
I know you've broken this batch down, but (looking at your pic) did you know you can use your regular shell holder in that kinetic bullet puller instead of that little 3 piece, o-ring silly contraption it comes with?

I learned it after I lost one of those little metal ears and before I threw the rest of it away.
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Old 06-25-2022, 04:06 AM
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mbrgr1,


You made the right decision! If you thoroughly read your reloading manuals, especially those from the powder companies, you will find emphatic warnings like " DO NOT ATTEMPT TO IDENTIFY PROPELLANTS BY APPEARANCE" There is a good reason for this, there are too many that are so similar in appearance that this is impossible to do safely, or to any degree of certainty!
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Old 06-25-2022, 10:17 AM
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Default Pull'em, I did!

Many years ago, I purchased 1000rds of 38 Supers at the CMP at Camp Perry, Ohio! I figured they would be fine as they were loaded for the AMU! I fired a couple cylinders full in a 686 38 Super! TOO HOT! I pulled apart 20 rounds and measured the powder. The weights were from 9.3grs to 10.1grs! I looked in ALL my old reloading manuals and there was not one load of any powder that was anywhere near the much! I pulled apart every last round, saved the powder, and reloaded with the same powder but starting at about 6grs and worked up until I felt I had reached a save load. I loaded all the rounds I had pulled apart plus about 50 more I had setting around and was left with about a cup of powder! The left-over powder went up in smoke in the driveway!
To the OP! A recommended max bullet weight of 240grs is for all S&W N frame 44 mags. Prolonged use of heavier bullets will loosen up the gun!
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Old 06-25-2022, 10:44 AM
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There is a HUGE difference between Unique and 2400 powder.
Here is a picture to prove it, for those that "Eye ball" powders
that I copied from another source.

If I had a lot of powder from 500 or more, broke down loads, I might
do as above, and start out low and work up with those pulled bullets.....
but that is just me, since it is not recommended.

14.4 grs of what appears to be Unique........... really
and with a lead target type bullet ?? !!

Very interesting.

Sorry, forgot the picture.

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 06-25-2022 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 06-25-2022, 12:51 PM
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I am not a coward and have the scars and mended bones to prove it. But there are some things I just won't do. One is shooting an unknown load from an unknown reloader (another major "no-no" for me is using any load data I see on any forum, hear from any gun counter clerk, range rat, or gun shop guru). When I started reloading I didn't know anyone else that reloaded so I spent a lot of time at the library and researching load data (waaaay pre web). So I got in the habit of shooting my handloads and factory loads only. That has stuck with me for over 40 years...

I have a 629 that suffered from my raging case of "Magnumitis", too many, too hot handloads. I had to send it back to the factory for repairs/barrel clocking.

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Old 06-25-2022, 01:09 PM
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I have a 629 that suffered from my raging case of "Magnumitis", too many, too hot handloads. I had to send it back to the factory for repairs/barrel clocking.

Luckily I snagged a nice tight 629-1 8 3/8" that has the barrel scope mounts, just interesting, not really wanting a scope.


I am not a "magnum" guy at all, I'd be happy with low and slow 44 spl type loads for this gun, glad to have some extra brass with primers.
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Old 06-25-2022, 01:29 PM
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I'd consider it something of a waste of commodities.
Unique is a good powder behind traditional cast lead in the 44 magnum. However nearly 290 grains of cast lead is well above it's pay grade.
If it is in fact Unique, the charge weight stated is ridiculously high.

I wouldn't bother duplicating such a theoretical load.
Above 250, one should consider the projectile "business class" and load accordingly. Its not meant to to a back yard plinker
even a 240 grain is gray area in my school of thought ... 200 - 225 or so ... why yes ... these do light to mid range loads with aplomb
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Old 06-26-2022, 11:16 PM
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The only time I shot unknown reloads were some 32 S&W longs I bought and ran thru my old beat up K32.......I figured you couldn't put enough powder in a 32 casing to hurt that. They were dirtier than a coal miner after a 12 hour shift.
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Old 06-26-2022, 11:31 PM
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The only time I shot unknown reloads were some 32 S&W longs I bought and ran thru my old beat up K32.......I figured you couldn't put enough powder in a 32 casing to hurt that. They were dirtier than a coal miner after a 12 hour shift.
Got a grin on the coal minor reference from a Pittsburgian. I guess you would know!!

My dad was a steelworker and came home almost as dirty but not quite.
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Old 06-26-2022, 11:32 PM
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Mine was a steelworker too.

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Old 06-27-2022, 12:39 AM
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FWIW, that bullet doesn't look like a RNFP (round nose flat point) to me. It looks more like a TC (truncated cone) for my money.
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