New 44 special, new load


June 5, 2011, 09:14 PM
What's everybody shooting in their Lipseys? I prefer cast but i also have a box of 200gr XTPs that I might shoot up.

I have shot a lot of 44 spl level loads in 44Mag brass in my Bisley Hunter but never loaded 44 spl brass.

I have 429244, 429421, and Lee TL430-240 molds. I would like to shoot up a box of the Lee bullets. They are cast of 50/50 WW/Pb so the BHN is perfect for 44 spl level loads.

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June 6, 2011, 11:24 AM
I don't have a Lipsky's, but I do have a 4 1/2" S&W 1950 Target.
My all time favorite load is a 250 Keith SWC over 7.5 grains Unique.

That is the famous old "Skeeter Skelton" load, and it is very hard to beat.


June 6, 2011, 11:37 AM
I have been using Power Pistol instead of Unique, I find it to work as well or even better for accuracy but is much cleaner and most importantly IT METERS MUCH BETTER !
Alliant shows loads for most all revolver loads on their website or get one of their free
books at your favorite reloading emporium.
Charges are similar to Unique but a bit heavier as it is a slower powder.
Be advised though, it has tremendous flash, I like it some may not.

June 6, 2011, 12:05 PM
I don't have a Lipsky's, but I do have a 4 1/2" S&W 1950 Target.
My all time favorite load is a 250 Keith SWC over 7.5 grains Unique.

That is the famous old "Skeeter Skelton" load, and it is very hard to beat.


June 6, 2011, 12:10 PM
All current .44 Spl load data is artificially low in deference to all the very old guns still around. Alliant only goes to 6.9 grains Unique in it's current data.

The Skeeter load is above any current data, but is perfectly safe in any modern revolver.


June 6, 2011, 12:28 PM
Thanks. The Lyman manual also stops at 6.9gr of Unique.

June 6, 2011, 05:18 PM
What is a Lipsy? I'd want to know how big that gun is before you try 7.5 gr of Unique in it. I have a Taurus 445 which is the size of a Bulldog. That load would send it to the scrap yard as that load was used in S&W N frame revolvers.

Universal and Power Pistol are better powders then Unique.

June 6, 2011, 05:21 PM
The Lipseys are built on the NM 357 Blackhawk frames. Quite capable, I believe but if 7.0 shoots better, that's what I will shoot.

June 6, 2011, 07:35 PM
I used the old "Skeeter Skelton" load for many years in my Colt SAA (new). I have a Taurus Titanium 5 shot revolver that only weighs 20 oz. I cut the Unique down to 5.8 grains for this gun. Still like the Keith SWC bullet.

June 6, 2011, 09:08 PM
kelbro, you might measure your throat diameter. mine is .432" (the barrel's groove diameter is .430"). might either use .432" bullets, or softer lead on the .430" bullets to keep from leading. fwiw.


June 6, 2011, 09:11 PM
oh, if you decide to use .432" dia. bullets, don't use a lee seating die. the die will size your bullet back down to .430". ask me how i know.


June 6, 2011, 10:43 PM
The cylinder slugs very consistently at .4303 and the bore slugs .4294. I did feel a slight restriction just past the forcing cone at the barrel/frame junction. May need to firelap it a little. I am going to start off with .430s (the BHN is about 9) and see how they shoot. If they lead, will try .431.

I just can't quit handling this one. One of the finest Rugers that I have ever seen. Nice blueing. Great grip to frame fit. Incredibly smooth action and trigger. Mirror finish in the bore. Nice heft and the 4 5/8 barrel balances perfectly. Cant wait to shoot it again.

June 7, 2011, 02:00 AM
i have the same restriction and get excess leading at the cone and 1/2" beyond. just got my firelapping kit from beartooth last week.

if you have .430" throats you should have no problem with bullet obduration. if you get leading in the fcone, it's probably that restriction.

how's your trigger pull? mine used to be 4 1/2 lbs. but came back from ruger with a new trigger and hammer and a 2 3/4 lb. pull.

mine's a 5 1/2" barrel. feels and shoots great (apart from the leading).



June 7, 2011, 08:10 AM
The trigger is at or below 3#.

I firelapped the restriction out of my stainless Hunter barrel in 24 shots with the Wheeler kit. No leading in that one now.

June 7, 2011, 10:45 AM
Kelbro and I have been talking .44 Special loads on another forum, but since you guys are talking bores, throats, and leading, I thought I'd jump in here as well.

My .44 Special (standard run, non-Lipsey's) is a highly accurate revolver, but it leads up faster than any other gun I have. I usually shoot a 240 grain Missouri Bullet LSWC (BHN 18) or a 250 gr. Keith from Magnus (BHN 18-19). Bullets measure .430 in diameter. My standard load is 8.5 to 9 grains of Power Pistol, or 6.5 grains of HP38.

My theory was that 18 Brinell was too hard for .44 Special pressure levels (better suited to .44 mag), so to test this I loaded up 50 rounds using the Keith load of 17 grains of 2400. I cleaned the barrel of all leading until it was shiny and spotless. Then I fired 50 rounds and inspected the barrel. I had lead smeared from forcing cone to muzzle crown. Lots. Not like smooth bore lots, but enough that it's gonna take a while to clean. Accuracy was very good over the entire 50 rounds, though.

I have not slugged my bore, but the .430 bullets pass through the cylinder throats with very light, if any finger pressure.

I have a couple of things I want to try. First, a soft bullet. Like a swaged Hornady bullet, BHN of 8.

Second, try a .431 sized bullet.

I'm also willing to bet I have a bore constriction, but have not done anything to verify. Fire lapping would be my last resort.

You guys got any opinions/advice on what I've found so far?

June 7, 2011, 01:18 PM
Fire lapping would be my last resort.As it should be.

Fire lapping laps the entire bore.
But you only really want to lap the constriction, if there is one found.

You do that with a cast lead slug screwed on a cleaning rod + lapping compound.

That way you can lap out only the constriction that needs enlarging, not the same amount the whole length of the barrel.


June 7, 2011, 02:21 PM
Can you even get the slug started with it screwed on to a cleaning rod? I assume you would pull it in to the forcing cone. Seems like you need some kind of press (C-clamp with a block of wood) to get it started.

Interesting idea, never thought of that

June 7, 2011, 02:25 PM
You need to drive the slug through the barrel from the muzzle to size it and engrave the rifling.
Then mark it with a scratch on the end as it comes out the forcing cone so you can index it back in the rifling in the same position.

Then apply lapping compound and pull it back and forth through the constriction.
Keep applying more lapping compound as it wears out.

And you will need to replace the lead slug every so often too before you get done.


June 7, 2011, 02:38 PM
In my experience (only one SS ruger 7.5" barrel), the firelapping took 95% of the larger frame/barrel constriction out along with the smaller warning rollstamp constriction. The muzzle end was not affected. This was measured before, during, and after firing the abrasive coated slugs.

The accuracy improved by better than 50% and the leading disappeared.

I was also skeptical/leery of doing this to an expensive pistol but the leading was driving me nuts. I tried harder, softer, heavier, lighter and fatter slugs with different lubes and powders. So, I guess it was sort of a 'last resort'.

Bottom line, it improved accuracy and virtually eliminated leading in my pistol. Now, as long as the bullet fits and is properly lubed, I can shoot from 6 BHN to 26 BHN loads from 700 fps to 1400 fps.

The best advise that I got on firelapping was to clean and measure every few bullets.

Believe me, I can understand why someone would not want to try this. It sounds risky and you worry about destroying a barrel. I was that guy too. But there comes a time when you think you have tried everything imaginable and the problem persists. I opened my mind to the idea and it worked out great for me and that pistol. Your mileage may vary.

Here's a good article:

June 7, 2011, 02:50 PM
Good point, Kelbro. We're not talking about match grade bench rest rifle barrels here either. Ruger barrels are cheap, in the scheme of things...

Especially when you add up the cost of all the different types of bullets you end up trying, the different powders, etc. to eliminate a leading problem!

Purple Rice
June 7, 2011, 02:59 PM
The Lipseys are built on the NM 357 Blackhawk frames.
.44 Special "Flat-top", 5.5 inch barrel model pictured.
Lipsey's had them as an exclusive there for a while, but now Ruger has them in their regular lineup. These are strongly built guns designed to handle the hot .44 loads. I love mine!

June 7, 2011, 07:10 PM
thanks for the info, kelbro. if you go to , ross seyfried has a great article on the flattop 44spl. he talks about firelapping and how well the weapon shoots. very good article.


June 7, 2011, 08:22 PM
Thank Murf.

Hammerdown77, it doesn't take much to slug your bore. Then you can decide what to do next.

June 7, 2011, 10:15 PM
I'll need to pick up a micrometer to measure the slug. Standard vernier calipers ain't gonna cut it. Some pin gauges would be nice.

June 7, 2011, 11:37 PM
Some pin gauges would be nice.

I picked up these a few weeks ago and I'm very satisfied with them.

.251" - .500" +.0002-.0000 accuracy Pin Gage Set $55.90 (

I also got several items from their 'Close Out' list that were dirt cheap. Things like files, drills, sandpaper. I even got some solid carbide reamers for $1. I mainly got those for the 6 inch carbide shanks. You never know....

Anyway, back on topic, the pin gage set is really nice and comes in a nice case.



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