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  #1  
Old 08-03-2009, 05:22 AM
canoe on the yukon canoe on the yukon is offline
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Default Heavy loads with Unique & Keith cast/44 mag

I know what the manuals say and I've used up to 10 grains of Unique behind the 429421 Keith in 44 mag.The data varies a good bit with different manuals with some of it showing 13 grains with this bullet.The Speer manuals that I have show 11 grains as tops with their 250K which is,at least quite similar to the 429421.

I've been using mild loads(8.5) for many years as a practice load but I'm especially interested in hearing from anyone's actual experience with 11 grains and up with this bullet and powder.I'm not interested in less than 1200 fps (1100+ from a 4".)11 grains should give me that.Anyone out there have experience with it?
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:08 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Lightbulb And I thought I pushed the envelope!

All kidding aside, that load is even outside the greatly maligned Speer #8 maximum for that bullet weight! WOW!


This is just me but I would choose a different powder. Will it work? Maybe in a Ruger or a T/C Contender or even a Handi-Rifle, but why?

Is it the only powder you have or that is available in the Great White North?

I think I would rather go with a 2400 load from the Speer #8 than push it to that point with Unique. Just me though, to each his own.

FWIW
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:48 PM
canoe on the yukon canoe on the yukon is offline
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Skip,

I have numerous powders on hand and when I want real muscle with a magnum revolver,Unique is the last powder I think of.

The Speer#8 ,which is usually on the warm side is ironically anemic with Unique and the cast 250.Max showing at 9.5.

Different powders are not off my radar screen however I have a great deal of Unique on hand and would like to utilize it for medium-hot loads(250/1200 fps).

Aside from the very mild Speer#8 data for this bullet/powder,data varies from 11 grains to 13 grains(13 being listed in Lyman 48).10 grains is used very commonly but does not reach my requirement.
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:02 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Lightbulb Corrected!

Canoe,
I went to the Alliant website and looked at their current data. Guess what? 11gr is their maximum load nowadays! Imagine that, the Speer #8 is a wimp! (At least in this area!) Where is Dennis40x when you need him! (Just kidding Dennis!)

At any rate, their data shows that it attained 1200fps from a 7 1/2" barrel. If you want to get that from a 4" you are going to have to go higher yet. If you do, be extra careful. I know this will be like "preaching to the choir" but look for all of those telltale signs of over pressure.

Let us know how things turn out. Are there any other sources of data for Unique and hotter loads?

Maybe Elmer's loads are more, I'll have to look!
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:26 PM
canoe on the yukon canoe on the yukon is offline
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Skip,

If you look back at my original post,I mentioned the Speer showing 11 grains for their (RCBS)250K.

Alliant shows 11.8 for a 240 w/gas check

Older Lyman shows 12.0

Current Lyman's show 13.0

Nothing here is outlandish (at least the 11 grain data)Was hoping someone here had used it thusly.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:04 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Tomorrow, hopefully, 10gr, 11gr, 12gr and I'm not sure from there!

H&G #503, 15-18bhn, homemade lube and Wolf Large Magnum Pistol Primers. I know I don't need magnum primers but that is what I have available, hence the limit on maximum charges.

They will look like this:



Took a 300lb hog with one of these, on the run, broadside @ 40 yards from a Marlin 1894. Needless to say, there she laid!

I may shoot them through the Marlin too but all I have for a handgun is a 5" M629 Classic. The data won't be off too much from it to the 4", hopefully!
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:45 PM
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Skip,
are the loaded bullets the same as the one in front? The unloaded bullet looks to have a smaller meplat than the loaded ones. Too, the loaded ones seem to have a sharper edge to the outer edge of the meplat. Optical illusion?
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smith crazy View Post
Tomorrow, hopefully, 10gr, 11gr, 12gr and I'm not sure from there!
Sir, I look forward to reading your results. I suspect you'll get fused/melted bullet bases and gnarly leading before you get pressure signs. It'll be interesting to see just what happens.

Semper Fi,

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Old 08-04-2009, 03:17 AM
canoe on the yukon canoe on the yukon is offline
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The 10 gr Unique/250 Keith load is very commonly used,I suspect because of the popularity of John Taffin's writing.(He has used and written about that load)

Like many thousands (I suspect),I've used Unique for reduced loads for years with the Keith/44 mag.Used 8.5 by the ten's of thousand's with occasionally 9,9.5 & 10.But as I said in a previous post,I want the load somewhat steamier.

I happen to have a LOT of unique stocked and would like to get some mileage with warmer loads without stepping over the line.

For a less than full power load,I've used 18.5 of 2400 behind the Keith 250 and gotten great results.Ball park figures are about 1200 fps from a 6 to 8 inch and a bit over 1100 fps from a 4 inch.If I can closely approximate this with Unique,I'll be satisfied.11 grains looks very promising.........I have a lot more Unique than any other pistol powder.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:38 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Lightbulb This is what I got:

OK, Here is what I did. I took the same brand of cases from the same lot, RP. Same thing with the bullets, all cast from the same alloy at the same session. Sized to .431" and lubed with my homemade lube. I did have some leading, not excessive. The firearm was clean when I finished and that was surprising seeing as I used dirty old Unique. (Get the pressure up and it will work just fine! )

Also, all of them were loaded on my Lee Classic Turret in 4 hole press. It is the cast iron version. On top of the powder die was old faithful, the Lyman #55 powder measure I got with my first reloading setup. I think the numbers will speak for themselves on how Unique metered through it.

Primers were Wolf Large Pistol Magnum and none of these loads even began to make them flatten out at all. Still, as mentioned previously, I stayed below the Lyman data posted above.

Once again, the firearm for the pistol testing was a newer M629 Classic with a 5" barrel.
Well, here goes:

(all numbers are in feet per second)
10gr Unique
Low 1084
High 1120
Avg 1103
ES 36.6
SD 12.44

11gr Unique
Low 1151
High 1193
Avg 1174
ES 42.46
SD 13.45

12gr Unique
Low 1228
High 1254
Avg 1240
ES 25.96
SD 8.71!


12.6gr Unique
Low 1288
High 1323
Avg 1303
ES 34.68
SD 12.08

Rifle data:
12.6gr Unique
Low 1468
High 1507
Avg 1483
ES 39
SD 1724

To be honest, seems to me that 12gr is some kind of sweet spot. Whether it is in my reloading equipment of that 5" little hand cannon, something seems to click there.

I didn't do any accuracy testing as that is really a shooter function at these levels.

I think those numbers are really remarkable from this old veteran powder. Hope this helps someone!

I am going to look into this just a little more as a matter of fact. That is, after I get the middle daughter married off this weekend!
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:50 PM
canoe on the yukon canoe on the yukon is offline
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Skip,

WOW!!!!!.....When I began the thread,I was hopeing to get some feedback from someone with using the steamier loads with this powder but I never expected to get info this good.

From your figures,it appears that the Lyman data is accurate and dependable with these components.That's good to know.I had reservations about why the data was two full grains different between Lyman #48 and the Speer data with the very similar 250K.

The requirments I had in mind were for about 1200 fps with a 6" and around 1100+fps with a 4".From your test,it looks like between 11 and 12 will be about right.

I'm sad to say that my chrono is on the blink but I will develope a load observing for pressure signs and accuracy as well as excess leading.

About pressure signs......you mentioned primer appearance being good but did you experience any stiffness of extraction at any point and if so,at what point?

I know that you enjoyed this but even so,I want to thank you for doing it.My stockpile of the slower pistol powders is limited but I have enough Unique for from now on.I now consider it even more versatile than I did before.

With best regards,

ray
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:17 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Talking No problemo, amigo!

Ray,

Fun it was! I love to do this kind of stuff as much as I like to hunt or compete or...............load development, what a BLAST!(pun intended! )

Remember I used magnum primers. The cups should be just a tad harder for the higher pressures normally encountered in those cartridges. Personally, I think that is the reason for the small spreads. No scientific proof but, I have had Federal LP and Winchester LP side by side with 2400 and the numbers shrink considerably. The Wolf magnum primers worked about as well as the Winchesters. At any rate, there was no primer appearance problems at all. In fact, they seemed almost like they had just come out of the package!

As far as extraction, there was no problem there either. After 46 rounds with Unique at normal pressures, there is usually enough dirt in the chamber to have extraction problems. Not so with any of these loads. Even after the dirt built up a little, a normal push on the extractor rod and the cases fell out. Of course I always have gravity help me!

With all of that being said, it would seem to me that these loads are something that needs to be pursued. I think too that the commercially cast bullets would be good for this kind of loading as the pressure surely is at the top of the range for this round. Slower powders, faster velocity, less pressure, softer bullets-to a point.

I did get more leading that I usually do out of these bullets. Either they were too soft or the lube broke down. I'll have to play with that too.

Notice too that the net gain is diminishing per grain of powder. Between 10 and 11 you get a 90fps increase. From 11 to 12 you only get 60fps and from 12 to 12.6 there is only 40fps or so. I think I stopped at a good point for my firearms.

I shot these on the 100 yard rifle range because I was going to shoot the Marlin. I had no real target except some left over broken pieces of clay pigeons. I would sight up on a small one with the revolver and while I couldn't look quick enough to see them fly, they did disappear once or twice. @ 50 yards I could make a piece of 2x4 move every time. Plenty good for hunting.

I was shooting a 45ACP load yesterday that clocked out of my 4" barrel @ just under 700fps. Every one of them went through a 2x4 @ 10 yards! It may not be necessary to push bullets to the top of their data for them to work efficiently, just thinking out loud though!
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:19 PM
canoe on the yukon canoe on the yukon is offline
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Skip,

This is fantastic!!!!.....Much better than I ever expected.About the magnum primers.....as a test,I think it's actually better the way you did it.When all else is equal,the magnum primer raises pressures,at least some with any powder.For me personally,it's a bit more relevant anyway because I've come to use more WLP primers than any.As you've noted,they are rated for standard and magnum.

For full power,I generally use a 240 or 250 at about 1350-1450 FPS while for practice,I usually use the same at about 1000.As a general purpose,woods loafing load that's not max but good enough to ride the river with,I've come to prefer around 1200 or so.What you've tested is not only more than good enough for that general purpose load but it's not that far below giving competition to the full load.

I've not done any of this testing with my guns yet but if all goes well,I may be using 2400,W296/H110 a lot less.I've used and liked Unique for a long time but I've just gotten to like it even better.
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:20 AM
canoe on the yukon canoe on the yukon is offline
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Just wanted to share this with any of you guys that may be interested.Below,I'll list the data from the Lyman cast bullet handbook that I bought around 1970.I won't list data from any other source in this post and you'll see why.

With a 6.5 inch universal receiver,Unique powder and the 429421 bullet cast from Lyman #2 alloy.

8.5 gr....1015 fps......17,100 cup

12.0......1310 fps.....35,500 cup

Now.....Chronographed results from my 6.5 inch model 29 that I chrono'd with the starting load above (8.5).I'd been using this load for many years before I ever had access to a chrono and when I did,my favorite revolver showed 1017 fps.I know that this is a coincidence for being so close(so close,it's almost spooky)but I'm simply reporting the facts.Unfortunately,I did not chrono any other charge weights with this bullet/powder combination.

While keeping all this in mind,look at Skip's chrono'd work today.For the other numbers,refer to his test result post but I'll list here the"average" velocity of each.I'll only go up to 12.0 grains because that's what that manual shows as max.

10.0.....1103 fps

11.0.....1174 fps

12.0.....1240 fps

Extrapolate the fact that his revolver has a 5 inch barrel.The top load (12.0) in the manual is showing 70 fps more but remember it's a longer barrel.....Add this consistancy to the "almost"identical velocity from my old 29......Just for laughs,I extrapolated possible/hypothetical velocity figures from the manual's data....Yes,I know that velocity and pressure do not move up and down in a linear fashion but I checked the numbers to see how they might correlate or not.......If one takes the difference between high and low velocity from the Lyman,he gets 295 fps.Divide this by 3.5 which is the difference in grains.Theoretically this would give one about 84 fps difference per grain.When one moves forward with this,he gets the following hypothetical velocity figures.

10.0.....1141 fps

11.0.....1225 fps

12.0.....1309 fps

The figure is inevitable for the 12 grain load since it couldn't possibly be anything else but look at the other two and compare with Skip's figures and then allow for the difference in barrel length.

The reader may not be as impressed as I am over this but I love to see examples of continuity.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:50 PM
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I love Unique w/ lead bullet loads in the 44mag. You can get some good vel. w/ safe pressures, not max. but good solid performance.
My range load for the 4" is 9.2gr under a RCBS 245grLSWC. It makes 950fps in my M29/4" & a M629/3" (M629 has a slightly tighter cyl. gap) Accuracy is all you can want, right at 1" @ 15yds.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:54 PM
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I've had good luck with 10/Unique over the years. Accurate enough for cottontails and powerful enough for whitetails.


Okie John
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