Good powder for .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum


January 29, 2008, 02:02 PM
Does anyone have a good powder they recommend for loading both .44 Magnum and .357 Magnum? I am hoping I can find a good powder that will reload both, so I can buy in bulk.

The guns I'm loading for are a S&W 29-2 and a 27-2. I'd like to load some mild to medium weight loads for both guns.

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January 29, 2008, 02:17 PM
AA #9, H110, W296, N110

I like AA #9 for full loads in .41 mag and .44 mag. Don't do much full .357 loading.

Whoops, "mild to medium loads". My bad.

Universal Clays then. Good stuff for medium+ loads in .357

Red Dot, N320, Clays, or Bullseye for mild loads.

January 29, 2008, 02:45 PM
For mild to medium weight loads (950 fps assumed), I look for powders that fill more than half the case, yet still burn completely.

For these loads, Hodgdon Clays and Universal Clays, Vihtavuori N310/N320/N330, Ramshot Zip and Silhouette, AA #2, and Alliant Red Dot/Green Dot/Unique all fill the bill.

January 29, 2008, 02:51 PM
I assume "mild" .44 magnums is similar to when I load my .45 Colt up about halfway between a .45 Colt load and a .44 magnum load (about 1050 fps.) Alliant PROMO with cast bullets is perfect for this. It felt a little too mild when I tried it in a .357, so I use Herco or Bullseye for that.

January 29, 2008, 02:55 PM
For less than full house magnum loads, AA#7 is hard to beat in magnum revolver loads and can take you near full power magnum loads when you need them. Metering is as good as it gets. Ramshot True Blue is also a very good choice for this.

AA#9 is maybe the best choice for full power magnum loads in .357, .41 magnum, and works well for .44 mag. I'm switching to something very similar, Ramshot Enforcer which works in .357, .41 and .44 Magnum and is about the same burn rate as AA#9. But as far as full power .44 magnum, I think you'll get more recommendations for H110 than anything else. 2400 will get plenty of recommendation.;)

January 29, 2008, 03:03 PM
You only need two powders to load Magnum revolvers.

Unique for mid-range power.
2400 for full power.

Why fool with something that has worked so well since before most all of us were born?

January 29, 2008, 03:32 PM
I'm very surprised that no one has mentioned probably the best powder overall for the 357 and 44 Mags and that is W-W 296. This ball powder is a joy to work with and is the same powder that Winchester loads their factory ammo. Also consider another good powder for medium to heavy loads is Alliant(now Hodgdon's) Blue Dot. Why reinvent the wheel? :)

January 29, 2008, 03:40 PM
I think nobody recommended 296 because "trbon8r" asked for powders for light-to-medium loads, and you cannot load 296 or H110 down.

January 29, 2008, 03:41 PM
Unique for mild to "medium"

2400 for magnum level

WW296 is also good, but only for full power loads, as this powder does not "download" well. Go too light and ignition becomes erratic, leaving large amounts of unburned powder.

Blue Dot is also a good powder for medium to warm loads, but usually peaks before full magnum velocities are attained. Very close, but not absolute top performance.

The Bushmaster
January 29, 2008, 03:53 PM
Winchester W-296, Alliant 2400, Hodgdon H110. My preference are the first two powders...

January 29, 2008, 04:16 PM
W296 and H110 are the same powder

January 29, 2008, 04:17 PM
But rc, if we only use two powders, where's the fun in THAT? ;)

Seriously, sometimes I think the most interesting (and addicting) part of this hobby is experimenting with the different components to find that elusive "perfect load." (Ok, I admit it, I'm a powder junkie :) ...)

January 29, 2008, 05:12 PM
"Why fool with something that has worked so well since before most all of us were born?"

Well, I guess the simple answer would be, don't. That way you'll never know the difference!;)

January 29, 2008, 05:25 PM
Accurate #9 works great for me.

The Bushmaster
January 29, 2008, 05:49 PM
EddieCoyle...My chronograph tells me a different story...H110 seems to give a better Flash/bang then W-296 and some of my manuals give different load values...No biggy though...It's all in the name.;)

January 29, 2008, 07:54 PM
Power Pistol works great, much easier to meter than Unique.

January 29, 2008, 08:51 PM
I have had good luck with HS-6 in both calibers for medium loads.

Ben Shepherd
January 29, 2008, 10:12 PM
Universal clays would be good for light to mid loads. Blue dot or HS-6 would be good as well. But the rub lies right there in the "mid" part. Blue dot and hs-6 work better in the middle portion, universal clays or unique work toward the milder side of things. Really light? Trail boss or 231.

Just the other side of mid takes a whole different powder selection. 2400, N110, 296, etc. These powders are from upper mid to full. They don't like low pressure.

January 29, 2008, 10:56 PM

January 29, 2008, 11:03 PM
Win 296

XD-40 Shooter
January 29, 2008, 11:13 PM
I would go with Blue Dot for the medium-hot loads and Unique for the mild loads. You can load Unique up and down the scale with no problem, with Blue Dot, stay within the loading manual range. I tried downloading Blue Dot once, never again, it burned filthy and left unburned powder. However, within its proper operating range, Blue Dot is great, clean, accurate, and gives a little oomph.:D I currently have some 158 grain Raniers loaded with 9.6 grains of Blue Dot, gives about 1100 fps, its a good, accurate, clean load.

January 29, 2008, 11:36 PM
Since you asked for a mild to medium load I would suggest Universal, HS-6, Power Pistol or Herco. Universal or Herco are probably the best of the four for both the lighter loads and medium loads.

Like said above, the usual powders like W296/H110 don't do well when downloaded. 2400 and H4227 are more flexible but still won't give you lighter loads. Lil'Gun will keep the pressures down more than the others but produces high velocity rounds that do kick. I would have suggested Longshot too but it doesn't work too well for the .44 Magnum when using heavier bullets. Hodgdon doesn't even provide data for Longshot and the .44 Magnum with heavy bullets.

January 30, 2008, 12:14 AM
Go with either Herco or Blue Dot, both are Alliant powders.

January 30, 2008, 06:16 AM
I use 2 powders, H Universal for light-med & win 296(H110) for max power.

January 30, 2008, 10:53 AM
i use W231 for my .357mag plinking/ light loads and .45acp. this powder meters great and has yeilded very accurate for both of those loads.
Im not sure that I would use it for .44mag tho.
if i ever make it out to one of the md shooters gtgs ill let you try a few of my .357 plinking loads.

January 30, 2008, 11:04 AM
Thanks guys. You've given me a great deal of information. Now I have some powders to do some homework on. My experience with reloading .357 Magnum goes back about 10 years, and I'm sure there are more options now than before. Thanks again.


Hope to meet you at one of the shoots. The Sunday get together was a real blast.

Doug b
January 30, 2008, 11:34 AM
I've tried them all and now I'm back to 2400 right were I started 30yrs. ago.Play with the others all you want but try 2400 with both standard and mag. prime.

January 30, 2008, 03:29 PM
trbon, another way to go about this is to consider the performance range you will load to most often. Find a powder where your performance need falls in the middle and you'll have room to load up or down. The problem that some of the faster powders will have is that they can't get you above medium velocity. The reason I mention #7, besides the fact that it was recommended to me for this about 25 years ago, it falls between two very good powders. AA#5 which can be used like Unique, and AA#9 that can be used like 2400, but will outperform it. It's all about your personal need.;)

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