Looking for information on loading .44 mag for a marlin levergun...


February 2, 2008, 11:06 AM
I've got 240 gr plated flatpoints, unique and large pistol mag and standard lp primers.

Does anyone have any ideas on loads. I have found one in my lee book for unique my only concern is which primer to use it does not say lp or lpm.

If you enjoyed reading about "Looking for information on loading .44 mag for a marlin levergun..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
February 2, 2008, 12:19 PM
You never need to use magnum primers with Unique powder.

I would probably try 9.0 to 9.5 grains with 240 plated bullets.

You don't want to exceed around 1,200 FPS with plated bullets or you may run into leading from them stripping out of the rifling.


February 2, 2008, 12:32 PM
1200 fps should be enough to clear the barrel? lol

February 2, 2008, 01:54 PM
Plated bullets will/could strip out the riflling if over 1200fps? :uhoh:

Wow thats kinda on a slow side for a .44 mag out of a rifle.

Why will these bullets do that, and what is a better bullet to use in a .44 rifle?

February 2, 2008, 06:29 PM
I don't thing that Unique is a very good powder for 44 Mag. rifle. I understand that plated bullets like Berry's may also have their limitations as well in a rifle based on how fast you want to drive it. In my 1894 I shoot exclusively jacked bullets such as Speer 240 gr. soft points or Hornady flat points. Also, if you plan on loading up a tubular magazine I strongly suggest a bullet with a cannelure, which most jacketed bullets have in 44 mag. Clearly, they're more expensive than Berry's but I don't shoot anywhere near as many as from my Super Redhawk, so it's no big deal. I use mostly H110 which you can't download too much which means it might not be the best powder for a plated bullet. Try it and find out. 21 grains of H110 (absolute minimum load for H110) will get you a MV of about 1525 fps which is possibly pushing it for a plated bullet. Berry's has a caution about how fast you can drive their plated bullets but I don't remember what it is. AA No. 9 and Alliant 2400 are probably better powders for plated bullets. For downloading for a plated bullet I'd start around 17.5 grains for both powders. These three powders are all slower than Unique and should perform better in the longer barrel of a rifle.

February 2, 2008, 08:46 PM
Most manuals will have loads for .44 mag in rifles and for revolvers. Make sure you're using the right data. You don't need magnum primers at all. Regular large pistol primers are just fine.
Plated bullets are loaded with cast bullet data. Alliant gives 6.0 to 7.0 for a 240 grain cast FP bullet using Unique. It's one of their 'Cowboy action' loads.

February 3, 2008, 11:26 AM
If the weather holds, I'll be trying my loads out today. I found some plated bullets of an unknown manufacturer in the garage that I bought years ago. I started firing them in my handgun with really good results. They are a 240gr flat nose type and I have them loaded over 12grs of Ramshot's True Blue and standard CCI primers. That's a low power load. Just over minimum. I'll be firing them out of a Rossi Puma that I bought used. It had a broken barrel band on it and I just got that part in this week. It's kinda windy, so I won't be doing any accuracy tests, just making sure the mag tube doesn't jump out and to check for leading. I'll check back in later if all goes well.

February 3, 2008, 01:42 PM
This from Berry Bullet's web-site:

"*How do I load Berry's Preferred Plated Bullets?
Plated bullets occupy a position between cast bullets and jacketed bullets. They are soft lead, but have a hard outer shell on them. When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You must use data for a bullet that has the same weight and profile as the one you are loading. Do not exceed mid-range loads. Do not use magnum loads.

*How fast can I shoot these bullets?
Velocities depend on the caliber, but as a rule of thumb, we recommend you don't shoot our plated bullets over 1200 feet-per-second. Our 44's actually shoot best around 1150 fps. 45's are generally good at 850-900 fps. Our bullets are not recommended for magnum velocities."


February 3, 2008, 06:24 PM
Well, this turned into a bust. Bullets that shoot great out of my S&W 629 were horrible out of this Puma. I'm talking 8 to 10 inch groups at 25 yards. I can almost shoot better groups with the pistol at that distance. Leading in the gun was almost non-existent. I measured the bullets at .429, so I think they may be too small for this gun. Might need .431s as bad as they shot. I'll buy a box of factory rounds just to test the gun, but looks like these bullets are for the pistol only. All in all, I'm pretty disappointed. But on a side note, my repair worked.

If you enjoyed reading about "Looking for information on loading .44 mag for a marlin levergun..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!