preferred powder for 44 magnum reloads?


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td48604
August 13, 2009, 02:00 PM
I would like to know what some general preferences are for a brand and specific powders for reloading .44 magnum.
I have been reloading 240 Hornady XTP's but stepped up to 300 grain XTP's. I have been using Winchester 296 powder up until now. My main use is plinking, but I may use it to hunt with it later on. I had some really bad problems with the Lee Auto Disk Powder Measure and my 296, but that's another post.
Not looking to get "hot" loads, just good overall accurate loads. The one thing I like about the Win 296 is that it is "forgiving" as far as the range from minimum to maximum loads are concerned. With the measure I had, it was a real problem.

Thanks

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LeonCarr
August 13, 2009, 02:38 PM
W296 is one of the all time greats for the .44 Magnum, and usually flows wonderfully in powder measures.

I would get a new powder measure and keep using the 296.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Walkalong
August 13, 2009, 03:01 PM
W-296 works just fine in .44 Mag. It likes a heavy crimp.

My choice over the last few years has been AA #9, but I loaded some 240 Gr bullets with both AA #9 & Lil' Gun a couple of nights ago to give Lil' Gun a try.

Lil' Gun is reputed to work quite well with heavy bullets in .357 and .44 Mag. Next I am going to give it a try with some 270 Gr Gold Dots I have. It should be worth a try with 300 Grainers.

Step up to an RCBS, Hornady or redding measure with a micrometer insert. You won't be sorry.

Welcome to THR.

243winxb
August 13, 2009, 04:37 PM
The one thing I like about the Win 296 is that it is "forgiving" as far as the range from minimum to maximum loads are concerned. 296 has to be loaded to near maximum powder charges. Never reduce the maximum powder charge more than 3%. 300 grain XTP's. on Hodgdons site show 19.0gr maximum. H110 and Winchester 296 loads should not be reduced more than 3%.

Reduce H110 and Winchester 296 loads 3% and work up from there. H110 and Winchester 296 if reduced too much will cause inconsistent ignition. In some cases it will lodge a bullet in the barrel, causing a hazardous situation (Barrel Obstruction). This may cause severe personal injury or death to users or bystanders. DO NOT REDUCE H110 LOADS BY MORE THAN 3%.

LTR shooter
August 13, 2009, 05:21 PM
I too would just buy another powder measure and keep using the 296. I would use the loads listed by Hornady for their XTP bullets.

296 has to be loaded to near maximum powder charges. Never reduce the maximum powder charge more than 3%. 300 grain XTP's. on Hodgdons site show 19.0gr maximum.

The 6th Edition Hornady manual lists a load range starting at 16.8 - 19.9 max using the 300XTP and 296 for the 44 Mag. Evidently Hornady does not buy into the 3% "rule".

td48604
August 13, 2009, 05:48 PM
I have the Hornady reloading manual and started at the minimum charge listed. My manual lists 16.8 gr of 296 for the 300 gr. XTP I haven't fired any of them. I am looking at a new press, this time I think I will go blue. For now, I'm back to an old Lyman Turret press.
I agree, I like the looks of the micrometer powder measures.

SlamFire1
August 13, 2009, 06:03 PM
The one thing I like about the Win 296 is that it is "forgiving" as far as the range from minimum to maximum loads are concerned.

It is either pedal to the medal with W296, or you don't use it.

I shot some 290 LSWC's with AA#9 in a M629. It shot well and the recoil was more than I liked.

My favorite 44 Magnum powder is 2400. A 240 grain anything with 22.0 grains 2400. If this is too much, I have shot thousands of 240 grain anything with 17.5 grains.

td48604
August 13, 2009, 07:40 PM
Quote:
The one thing I like about the Win 296 is that it is "forgiving" as far as the range from minimum to maximum loads are concerned.


What I meant by this was, that the minimum load starts at 16.8 grains, the maximum is 19.9 grains. Blue Dot for example, is from 10.8 to 12. My measure would randomly throw 1 full grain over, so if I threw 17.8 grains of 296, I was still in a "safe" zone. I no longer own that powder measure...

tango2echo
August 13, 2009, 07:41 PM
Love W296 in the .357 and .44 mag. W296 with the 240 XTP is as good as it gets in my book.

t2e

MovedWest
August 13, 2009, 07:52 PM
The 44 mag cartridge was designed with 2400 and it still remains a great powder for it today. I use it for all my serious loads from 210gr up to 300gr. I've tried other powders, but never liked the results as much as with 2400.

-MW

GRIZ22
August 13, 2009, 10:11 PM
I use W296 for full loads and Unique for mid range loads.

Steve in PA
August 13, 2009, 10:11 PM
Been reloading the .44mag for probably 15 years now...........use nothing but H110 under 240 or 300gr bullets.

dannyabear
August 13, 2009, 11:57 PM
+1 for 2400; it'll do anything you need, safely

lgbloader
August 14, 2009, 12:06 AM
I like H110/W296. Course some people love 2400.

LGB

evan price
August 14, 2009, 04:43 AM
I use Accurate #9 for my full-power .44 Magnums. Seems to work just fine.
There's Win296/H110, 2400, #9. Those are the "big" magnum powders out there. They all work well when loaded to the top end with a firm roll crimp.

Rembrandt
August 14, 2009, 03:44 PM
dittos...2400

buck460XVR
August 14, 2009, 04:52 PM
I have only ever loaded 240s in .44 mag. Never saw a real need for anything else. Over the years I have played with Unique, 2400, Lil' Gun and H110/W296. Outta my 629 I get the most accurate results using H110/W296 with the true "magnum" loads. 23 grains over a WLP primer for range shooting and 23.6 for the woods.

Walkalong
August 14, 2009, 06:26 PM
Guns are like Harleys and women.....you can never have too many.But your Harleys will live peacefully with each other. :eek:

TheGrimReaper
August 14, 2009, 06:39 PM
I use 2400 myself.

td48604
August 14, 2009, 09:11 PM
Thanks for all of the replies.. I'm going to buy a pound of 2400 tomorrow. I have a Lyman #55 powder measure so I'll see how it meters..

bluetopper
August 14, 2009, 10:25 PM
2400 and AA4100.

Ateam-3
August 14, 2009, 10:39 PM
I'm another one in favor of 2400. I use it more than any other powder.

MovedWest
August 15, 2009, 01:39 AM
I'm going to buy a pound of 2400 tomorrow.

The responses in this thread should be an indication how popular it is. Given the scarcity of components these days it can be a bit tough to find right now. Finding it might require a little more effort than normal, but don't give up. It's out there.

-MW

td48604
August 15, 2009, 09:32 AM
Fortunately, both local gun shops near me have it on the shelf. I'm out the door to get it.

uf-engineer
August 15, 2009, 10:11 AM
With the 2400, are you guys using a standard primer or magnum primer??

Asherdan
August 15, 2009, 12:15 PM
I've always used standard LP, the data I've worked from has always indicated a standard LP as well.

td48604
August 15, 2009, 12:17 PM
I don't have my manual in front of me right now, but I'm certain there was a warning of some sort about reducing loads with magnum primers. I will have to go grab a manual.. I will be using standard LP primers.

Ben Shepherd
August 15, 2009, 12:56 PM
Plinkers- 7-7.5 grains of Unique or universal under a 245 SWC.

Mid-range- Blue Dot under a 245 SWC.

(The following load is above most current published maximums, approach with due caution. Nethier THR or it's staff assumes any responsibility or liability for its use! )
Hunting loads- 22.5 grains of 2400 under a 245 Kieth type SWC.

Heavy hunting loads- Either a 300 XTP over 2400, 296, or H110, or N110. Or one of the Cast Performance hard cast offerings on top of a stiff dose of 2400.

Overall, lead slugs and 2400 are as good as it gets in the 44 mag. If I had to choose a single load to do everything for this caliber, it'd be a 245-255 Keith HCSWC over roughly 20 grains of 2400 without any hesitation at all.

LTR shooter
August 15, 2009, 01:29 PM
With the 2400, are you guys using a standard primer or magnum primer??

I use the Winchester WLP which states "for standard or magnum pistol loads". I use the same with 296 , H110 or AA #9. My last outing using VVN-110 I used magnum primers and shot my best 50 yard 44 mag group.

Ben Shepherd
August 16, 2009, 12:02 PM
With the 2400, are you guys using a standard primer or magnum primer??

Speers latest edition has revised data with 2400, stating to use standard primers. Seems in their testing they got better performance with lower variations in SD and ES.

A lot of folks here report the same results. My own experience when I tried this was squibs in cold weather. Back to magnum primers, no more sqibs.

So I'd say the answer is- Testing is required in your gun, under the conditions you shoot in.

fprefect
August 16, 2009, 02:58 PM
I realize that there is one post saying in effect that W296 is a very "forgiving" powder and a good powder to use for reduced loads and I'm happy the poster has found it to be so.

However if you go to the Hodgdon or Winchester load site you will find warnings against using W296 or H110 (same powders, both manufactured by Hodgdon) for anything except for loads that will fill or nearly fill the entire case. In fact for some 357 loads there is only one grain difference between the starting and maximum loads.

I'll be the first to admit that I am much more familiar with good rifle loads than for pistols, but for reduced loads I use Unique in amounts of 6-8 grains for the 357 and 9 - 12 grs for both my Ruger SA Blackhawk and Model 29 S&W DA 44 and get reasonably good accuracy across the board with a wide range of bullets without the recoil and blinding muzzle blast that one can expect from 296 or H110 full house loads.

F. Prefect

CSA 357
August 16, 2009, 07:40 PM
2400 for me and unique for light loads

td48604
August 16, 2009, 07:47 PM
Please allow me to clarify what I meant when I said 296 is a "forgiving" powder.

I stated:

"The one thing I like about the Win 296 is that it is "forgiving" as far as the range from minimum to maximum loads are concerned. With the measure I had, it was a real problem."


Meaning:
My manual lists a min. of 20.7 with a max. of 24.5 gr. I meant as stated later in the post, that it was the 3.8 gr of "leeway" between minimum and maximum loads. The problem was I was throwing 1 gr. over about every 25-30 rounds. There in lied the "buffer" or "forgiving" I was speaking of. I followed the manual to begin with a minimum and begin working my way up to a more suitable charge, but lost faith in the measuring device.

jbkebert
August 16, 2009, 08:22 PM
Really happy with Lil-gun 25.3 grains behind a 200 gr XTP from a 7 1/2" SPR. Clean burning and very accurate.

buck460XVR
August 16, 2009, 09:15 PM
td48604.......I've heard of folks having problems with W296/H110 and the auto-disk. This inconsistency along with a low starting point may very well be where your accuracy problems are.

fprefect
August 16, 2009, 09:31 PM
Clarification

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please allow me to clarify what I meant when I said 296 is a "forgiving" powder.

I stated:

"The one thing I like about the Win 296 is that it is "forgiving" as far as the range from minimum to maximum loads are concerned. With the measure I had, it was a real problem."


Meaning:
My manual lists a min. of 20.7 with a max. of 24.5 gr. I meant as stated later in the post, that it was the 3.8 gr of "leeway" between minimum and maximum loads. The problem was I was throwing 1 gr. over about every 25-30 rounds. There in lied the "buffer" or "forgiving" I was speaking of. I followed the manual to begin with a minimum and begin working my way up to a more suitable charge, but lost faith in the measuring device

That's good to hear. I have read several posts from shooters having problems metering 296 and not H110 and it's my understanding that the powders are identical and both manufactured by Hodgdon. Strange, as it looks like a powder that would be easy to meter.

I wish some of the bullet manufacturers would get together with the powder makers and come up with some far more accurate and safe load recommendations, particularly regarding the starting powder weights. Sierra and Hornady both show starting loads for the 357 magnum firing a 125 gr JHP in the 16 gr area with max loads at approx. 20-21. Hodgdon on the other hand who I would assume has done far more testing, shows 21 gr. for the starting load and 22 gr. for the maximum. Someone is wrong and I have my doubts if it's Hodgdon. Speer is the only reloading manual that shows a similar 1 gr. spread between starting and max. loads. 296 and 110 are great powders for hunting or defense loads but I'm not about to take 50 rounds to the range for a little practice as even the 357 load produces a "noticeable" recoil and the muzzle blast for either the 357 or 44 is "impressive" to say the least.

Some people may shoot hundreds of reduced loads using 296 or 110 without a problem, but I expect sooner or later a time will come when the main powder charge becomes shifted to the front of the case, the primer produces enough force to lodge the bullet briefly in the forcing cone before the main charge fully ignites and the revolver becomes a grenade. Fortunately this is only powder I'm aware of that has such a "narrow" 1 gr. spam of safe loading weights.

F. Prefect

Walkalong
August 16, 2009, 10:36 PM
but I expect sooner or later a time will come when the main powder charge becomes shifted to the front of the case, the primer produces enough force to lodge the bullet briefly in the forcing cone before the main charge fully ignites and the revolver becomes a grenade.I believe I experienced that when trying Blue Dot in .22 Hornet. (Yea, I know) Anyway, with the powder back against the primer, no problem, but when I tired it with the powder forward it severely blew the primer. The only blown primer I have ever had.

I experienced the more pressure thing again to a small degree testing Solo 1250 in reduced .357 loads. It was not severe like the Blue Dot debacle, but it gave more velocity every time with the powder forward than it did with the powder back. All the other powders I had tried like this in .357 had less to significantly less velocity with the powder forward, away from the primer.

The problem was I was throwing 1 gr. over about every 25-30 rounds. There in lied the "buffer" or "forgiving" I was speaking of.

H-110/W-296 should not do that. One whole grain difference is huge for such a fine ball powder that meters extremely well. I would check your measure. It should meter +/- one tenth of a grain at most.

LTR shooter
August 16, 2009, 11:02 PM
Sierra and Hornady both show starting loads for the 357 magnum firing a 125 gr JHP in the 16 gr area with max loads at approx. 20-21. Hodgdon on the other hand who I would assume has done far more testing, shows 21 gr. for the starting load and 22 gr. for the maximum. Someone is wrong and I have my doubts if it's Hodgdon.

If the starting loads listed using 296/H110 in any of the various editions of the Hornady or Sierra manuals through the years were really causing serious problems I would think they would have been sued out of business many years ago. I have never had a problem with any 296/H110 load listed in any Hornady or Sierra manual in over 20 years of reloading from those manuals.

MovedWest
August 16, 2009, 11:57 PM
With the 2400, are you guys using a standard primer or magnum primer??

Personally I use magnum primers (CCI350) with my 240gr bullets but I use standard primers (CCI300) for my 300gr XTPs. Magnum primers see to be just a bit too much for those bullets. Magnum primers seem to be more accurate with my 240's though. Ken Waters even notes that in his book Pet Loads.

Personally I load my 240's with 20.5 gr of 2400. Prints like a Xerox machine out of my 7.5" Ruger SBH.

-MW

COSteve
August 17, 2009, 02:02 AM
I really like a 200 grain jhp over 12 grains of Unique for a mid range load (averages 1,366fps from a 6.5" bbl.).

20 grains of 2400 for a 240 grainer... standard primer. You can push it further, but this is what shoots well out of my 629 Classic and 1894 Marlin. Just shy of 1,300 fps out of the same 6.5" 629. Plenty of pop for me.



Oh, yeah... firm roll crimp.

Lloyd Smale
August 17, 2009, 08:35 AM
not a huge fan of 110/296. I use it sometimes but its not a very versitle powder. To me a better choise is aa9 or 2400

jlynch34
August 24, 2009, 04:09 PM
I use magnum primers with 2400, but only because I have alot of them. Standard primers work just fine.

I did load 240 XTP/HP bullet in front of 22 gns of 2400. However, I am a meat eater an was doing to much damage to deer so I've changed my bullet to 200 gn XTP/HP and use 20.5 gns of 2400. This is a much more pleasant load to shoot and I've killed three deer with it so far none of which took a step after being hit. My gun is a Ruger Redhawk with 7 1/2" barrel, open sights. Just the way I do it for your info.

hydraulicman
August 24, 2009, 08:58 PM
Not really a 44 but still a magnum

I use regular primers with 2400

I just worked up a .357 mag load with a 125 grain XTP and 20 grains of W296 and a 550 magnum primer

Hope i don't blow my self up

KSCCHTrainer
August 24, 2009, 09:12 PM
Haven't loaded .44 Mag in a few years, but when I was in Germany back in the late 70's, I had a friend who was casting bullets. He made me up a bunch of 240 grain semi-wadcutters with lyman gas checks on them.

I wound up using 8.0 grains of Red Dot for that bullet with standard primers. It was a medium load with exceptional accuracy out of both a Ruger Super Blackhawk and a Smith & Wesson Model 29 with the 8 3/8" barrel. Rested groups ran about 1.5" at 25 yards out of the Smith and still under 2" with the Ruger.

Franco
August 25, 2009, 12:16 PM
I've used H110 as my only 44 mag reload powder. I was not aware of any safety issues and have reloaded and shot close to a thousand rounds without incident. I've stayed about 1 g less than the max Hodgdon data and have had superior results.

aerod1
August 25, 2009, 01:20 PM
2400 has always worked well in my Ruger SBH and SRH.:)

flipajig
August 25, 2009, 11:48 PM
Im using W231 for plinking loads with cast pills and 2400 for my hunting loads This is what is working in my BH 6.6 grn of W231 and 19.5 of 2400 on the jacked side of the coin 200 grn Jhp at 22 grn of 2400 and 240 grn Jhp 20 grn of 2400 (This works in my guns dont know about yours)

ArchAngelCD
August 26, 2009, 01:43 AM
IMO any of the "Magnum" powders will do a good job in the .44 Magnum. With today's manufacturing and quality control they are all good powders. W296/H110, AA#9, 2400, Lil'Gun, 4227 and Enforcer will all do what you are looking for. My favorite Magnum powder is W296/H110 but I do like Lil'Gun for 180gr bullets in the .357 Magnum.

Walkalong
August 26, 2009, 08:28 AM
I just received 1 lb Vihtavuori N110. (along with 1 lb Nitro 100, and 5 lbs of AA #2) I The other N series pistol powders are so good, I wanted to try it in .44 mag. I'll let ya know one of these days.

ranger335v
August 26, 2009, 11:14 AM
Full power - 298/H-110 and mag primers, 2400, standard primers

Mid to upper mid levels - Unique, standard primers (a really GREAT powder in the .44)

Mild - ?? .. fer pete's sake, it's a .44 Mag!

ArchAngelCD
August 27, 2009, 05:31 AM
Full power - W296/H-110 and mag primers, 2400, standard primers

Mid to upper mid levels - Unique, standard primers (a really GREAT powder in the .44)

Mild - ?? .. fer pete's sake, it's a .44 Mag!
Are you suggesting:
Concealed means Concealed
Magnum means Magnum
and Mild means Wimp ummm >> .44 Special?? ;)

profman
September 7, 2009, 11:39 PM
could i get some advice? shooting thompson contender 14 inch barrel using blue dot 16.2 gr in remington 44 mag case, 240 gr winchester jhp and winchester large pistol primer. i finish the load with lee factory crimp die. this shoots well in the contender, but not really happy with the accuracy, so got some h110 and started with 22 grains and other components are the same. the group was mediocre, but the cases were sticky coming out of the barrel. no other sign of pressure. when shooting with 22.5 gr h110, the cases were definitely sticking in the barrel with no other signs of pressure. i stopped and did not shoot the test loads with 23 gr h110.

i loaded another five cases using 21 gr h110 and the cases did NOT stick. but the group at 25 yards was about 4 inches. are the sticky cases showing real pressure signs using the h110? i am below the published max load of 24 grains h110, so i am stymied what to do next to find an accurate load using h110 in my barrel? should i cut back on the crimp (Lee FCD) so the bullet starts moving earlier?

thanks in advance.

DR505
September 8, 2009, 12:19 AM
I use H-110 for full power and Unique for good target loads (240 grain LSWC @ 900-950 fps).

Radaray
September 8, 2009, 04:32 PM
I think the originator was looking for some "plinking" loads. I don't savor plinking with full power 44 Magnum loads due to the extra cost of the components and the excessive wear and tear on me and my gun. Save the full power ball powder loads for hunting or "serious" work.

It has been pointed out above that some of the best plinking (practice) loads can be had using Unique and a good cast lead bullet. Much more efficient and comfortable to shoot, both to the shooter and the gun. Some very accurate loads can be found with a bit of experimenting. And a lot more shooting for the money!

I might point out that one of the best hot loads I've found for the 44 Mag has been with VV-N110 using Hornadys 240gr XP in my 10 1/2" SBH. I won't publish the load. However, I haven't been able to get enough of this powder into a 357 Mag case to even approach the velocity of W-296 without smashing the heck out of the bullet nose, as it is compressed too much. I stick with 296 or 2400 in the 357 with the heavy bullets.

BTW, I saw something somewhere about Lil' Gun causing excessive heat. What's the deal with this? I've used a little of this in load development, but have not noticed any unusual heating of the gun.

texgunner
September 17, 2009, 01:42 PM
The last three powders I've used for .44 mag are Lil' Gun, AA#9 and 2400. Lil' Gun produced very goog accuracy and burns clean. Primers were Winchester LP and Remington 2 1/2.

Tex

bltmonty
September 17, 2009, 03:37 PM
I've only used one powder for my Ruger 44 magnum redhawk with 7.5 inch barrel, and that's Vihtavuori 110. I worked up the loads according to their guide and have exceeded the velocity from the manual with no pressure signs. I use CCI large magnum pistol primers and 240 grain xtps. I have not bothered with other powders because this combination has been fantastic.

Ky Larry
September 17, 2009, 06:11 PM
Just got a lb of RamShot Enforcer. Haven't had a chance to try it yet. I've got 500 Nosler 240gr JHP's and about 200 cases primed. Maybe this weekend I can load a few. I've used AA#9 for serious .44 Mag loads. It works very well.

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