Over Max 44 Mag Loads


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bluetopper
August 28, 2011, 04:48 PM
Nevermind....this was a foolish question.

I have a Freedom Arms 44 Magnum revolver and I'm very tempted to try some over max loads in it. Do you guys think it will be OK?

It's the same gun designed to take 454 Casull loads at 65,000psi much less the 44 Magnum at 36,000psi.....plus more steel around the chambers because of the smaller caliber.

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rcmodel
August 28, 2011, 04:55 PM
The problem with over-max loads is, you have no way of knowing how much over-max they are.

Powder burn rate & safe pressure is dependent on case capacity, the type of powder used, bullet used, crimp, and a lot of other things beyond your control or knowledge.

You only have control over what has been tested safe by the reloading manual folks.

I would not do it.

rc

loadedround
August 28, 2011, 05:03 PM
Is your life insurance policy paid up and current? You may need it if you start experimenting. Listen to what RCmodel has to say.

CraigC
August 28, 2011, 05:14 PM
You simply can't get enough slow burning powder (H110/296) into the .44Mag case to threaten the FA 83's life. Far as I know, FA used to provide overpressure data but as of right now, the only source I know of is Brian Pearce's +P Redhawk data, which runs in the mid 40's. T'was in Handloader magazine last year, I think.

bluetopper
August 28, 2011, 05:38 PM
I was planning to use AA4100 powder (Ramshot Enforcer) which is the finest grained powder I've ever seen and very heavy for the volume. Burn rate is between 2400 & H110. Just a wonderful magnum powder that doesn't need a magnum primer.

56hawk
August 28, 2011, 05:52 PM
You should be fine. I usually go a grain or two over maximum with my S&Ws. Much more than that and the cases start to get hard to extract. Just work up slow and look for signs of pressure.

dodo bird
August 28, 2011, 06:41 PM
Buy a. 454

steveno
August 28, 2011, 06:44 PM
if standard pressure 44 mag loads ain't enough you should get a bigger gun

bluetopper
August 28, 2011, 06:46 PM
I'll work up......the pistol primers will have holes blown in them way before anything else destructive happens.

56hawk
August 28, 2011, 06:56 PM
I'll work up......the pistol primers will have holes blown in them way before anything else destructive happens.

Agreed, I've never even had that happen with any of my over max loads. I'll back off once the primers are completely flattened though.

steveno
August 29, 2011, 08:22 AM
you might contact Freedom Arms and ask them to how much above max you can load your 44 mag revolver rather than guess. I think we all know the answer and I'm pretty sure they have some real good reasons why you shouldn't use above max loads.

gamestalker
August 29, 2011, 09:34 AM
Some of us are born with it hard wired into our DNA, I know I'm one of them. Everthing I load has to push the envelope or I'm just not happy. However, I always use a work up procedure so I don't blow any of my firearms up.

CraigC
August 29, 2011, 09:59 AM
The safety police is out in full force. If the gun can handle the .454Casull at 65,000psi for its lifetime, then it can handle as much in the .44Mag. Handily. Whether or not doing so is safe should not even be in question. All you have to do is find the data. Call FA and see if they have any.


I'm pretty sure they have some real good reasons why you shouldn't use above max loads.
Yep, S&W N-frames. :rolleyes:

Galil5.56
August 29, 2011, 10:31 AM
April 2010/No.265 Handloader magazine has published +P .44 mag loads used in a 7 1/2" Ruger RH testbed. I won't relay the data here or elsewhere, but to say it's stout is being too kind... 310 grain cast got 1495 fps, 340 grain cast got 1405 fps... I remember first reading in the late 70's of how Casull tried to destroy his then new .454 revolver using as much Bullseye that could be added to a case (almost 100% more over current Lyman max), then seat a 255 grain cast slug. All he reported post firing when the gun was retrieved from the remote barricade was some loose screws. After the test, he stated that pressures were estimated to be 90,000 psi.

SlamFire1
August 29, 2011, 11:11 AM
The problem with over-max loads is, you have no way of knowing how much over-max they are.

That is so true.

Known unknowns:

Whether steel and heat treatment for 44 Mag is the same as 454 Casull.

Difference in throat profiles, cylinder mouths, how those contribute to pressure increases.

Heat and pressure effects. Hot 125 grain 357 loads used to crack the barrel ends of K frame revolvers.

Safety margin built into the firearm.

Fatigue life.

Structural strength of the brass.

Pressure curve of your +P loads

Unknown Unknowns: Don't know :neener:

All these firearms are designed to carry loads, you just don't know the limits or the safety factors, because firearm makers know they will be in for a bunch of trouble if they ever release those numbers.

When you exceed design limits you are in uncharted territory.

Elmer Keith ran "hot" loads in his pre WW2 Colts and S&W's. Read his old books, he had blow ups. This is the risk you must assume when you experiment, at some point, you will hit the structural limit of your firearm or the case.

Not saying don't do it, just that the whole risk is on you.

sugarmaker
August 29, 2011, 11:47 AM
Imagine the consequences of firing one of those loads in a standard .44 mag. A few decades from now it'll be hard to keep track of what you loaded - confusion happens.

It's not just the gun, but the components also. .44 brass and LPM primers are meant to run at 44 mag pressures. Primer issues can be fixed by using LR primers, but it becomes harder to read pressure as the brass doesn't normally run at rifle (e.g. bolt gun) pressures, so when the LR primer shows pressure you may be WAY over what the brass was designed for. I guess if the primers fell out on the next load, headstamp disappeared, etc. it might work.

My suggestion is to work within a cartridges design limits. If more power is needed, use a cartridge designed to provide that power.

Walkalong
August 29, 2011, 11:51 AM
the whole risk is on you.And those standing around you. The average hand loader needs to stay within published data. Most of the rest of us too. :)

56hawk
August 29, 2011, 12:01 PM
I think it's funny that a lot of people on this site talk about loading and shooting 45 Colt and 45-70 ammo that would blow up an original SAA or trapdoor Springfield. But mention that you want to load 44 Magnum above maximum, and everyone goes crazy.

sugarmaker
August 29, 2011, 12:15 PM
True, '56. But if I had a Trapdoor or SAA I wouldn't want any ammo in the house that was loaded hot for a Ruger #1 - just too easy to get something mixed up (like if my kids "examine" some ammo or my son goes out to shoot for an afternoon). I may be incorrectly assuming the OP may at some point own a "standard" .44 mag rifle or pistol.

CraigC
August 29, 2011, 12:21 PM
Verified that the statement I made that "You simply can't get enough slow burning powder (H110/296) into the .44Mag case to threaten the FA 83's life" is accredited to John Taffin. Paraphrased, of course. So no, you ain't gonna hurt a FA .44Mag.

I have most of Keith's work and only ever remember hearing of him blowing up one sixgun. It was an early blackpowder Colt SAA he overloaded with a .45/70 bullet cut down to 300gr over a caseful of blackpowder.


I think it's funny that a lot of people on this site talk about loading and shooting 45 Colt and 45-70 ammo that would blow up an original SAA or trapdoor Springfield. But mention that you want to load 44 Magnum above maximum, and everyone goes crazy.
It's silly, almost as if most folks were afraid of their own shadow. Years of lawyers working dilligently to protect us from ourselves has resulted in lots of folks thinking like Chicken Little.


...just too easy to get something mixed up...
It's just too easy to avoid as well.

zxcvbob
August 29, 2011, 12:32 PM
Some of us are born with it hard wired into our DNA, I know I'm one of them. Everthing I load has to push the envelope or I'm just not happy. However, I always use a work up procedure so I don't blow any of my firearms up.
I do that too, until I get it out of my system then I back off to something more reasonable so I don't wear out my guns prematurely (cuz I'm also cheap)

If you're going to push the envelope, Freedom Arms is the right platform. I would look for some older published load data -- or gen my own using Quickload. The European standard for .44 Magnum is 40000 psi; the SAAMI limit is 35000 psi (both numbers from memory.) So 40000 psi should be safe in any .44 Magnum handgun, it just has less safety margin. That's what I would work-up to if I had a FA. Probably use 270 to 300 grain bullets for the barn burners. (Once you get to about 300, the bullet is using up too much case capacity that would be better used for gunpowder.)

sugarmaker
August 29, 2011, 01:01 PM
Hey Craig. I agree larger charge of slower powders can't damage an FA. In fact, they're probably not going to hurt a standard .44 either, and won't be that much more powerful than a regular max handload. In my minds eye I pictured filling the case with unique or something that offered some real potential for power increase at the upper limits of the FA, which would destroy a normal gun like my 44V. Reason for my caution: Over long periods of time, stuff I didn't consider has happened like the glue on the loading stickers dries up and falls off, houses and apartments change, guns come and go, wives appear, kids(!) grow up and want to shoot my guns, and, worst of all, my memory isn't what it used to be.

CraigC
August 29, 2011, 02:05 PM
Once you get to about 300, the bullet is using up too much case capacity that would be better used for gunpowder.
Have to disagree there. Extensive penetration testing has shown that there is little to gain over 1200-1300fps in sixguns. The Beartooth 355gr can be safely pushed over 1200fps at standard pressures. Their 330gr can be pushed to 1350fps as well. These are the upper limits of the .44Mag at standard pressures. They have very limited application but there is certainly no performance-related reason to stop at 300gr.

Brian Pearce's Redhawk/Super Redhawk data, which was in Handloader #265 (April 2010) runs up to 45-48,000psi. Examples of loads include several 300gr jacketed bullets near 1400fps, a 310gr Oregon Trail WFN at nearly 1500fps, a 320gr CPBC WLN at 1427fps and a 340gr Rimrock LWN at 1405fps. As far as safety is concerned, all you have to do is load them long enough to preclude their loading into weaker guns like S&W's.

In a later issue, he suggested backing off only slightly for the single action Rugers.


In my minds eye I pictured filling the case with unique or something that offered some real potential for power increase at the upper limits of the FA, which would destroy a normal gun like my 44V.
You will always achieve highest velocities with slow burning powders like H110/296 and Lil Gun.


Beartooth 355gr compared to a generic 240gr SWC.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_7803b.jpg

Old Shooter
August 29, 2011, 03:42 PM
WWEKD

What would Elmer Keith do?

Stuff that puppy and close your eyes when you touch it off!!!!

Just kidding....Elmer belonged to an age gone by....But he gave us the 44 mag.

bluetopper
August 29, 2011, 07:33 PM
It's a wonder this thread has not been closed, but if anyone has Quickload can they post or PM me the predicted specs of a compressed load of 26gr of AA4100 behind a 250gr gas check cast lead SWC bullet in a 44 Mag?

DWFan
August 30, 2011, 03:05 AM
Elmer Keith used 22.0gr of 2400 and his Lyman/Ideal #429421 SWC.

For over-pressure FA loads, check this out...
http://www.sixguns.com/BookOfThe44/bot44c34.htm

scott5
August 31, 2011, 01:46 AM
Hello all,
Overloading a gun for testing sounds like what Clark did.:what:

Does anybody know what happened to him?:scrutiny:

Just asking.

slipknot
August 31, 2011, 02:18 AM
JDJ published over max data to use with the "over weight" 285 and 325 gr SSK SPECIALLY hard cast lead bullets that they sold. They were flat point truncated cones in shape. They were intended for a super blackhawk so will work in your FA. He also did the same for the 454 casull with his SSK heads. There were also several fine bullet casters who made these same bullets with the same ard alloy that would group at 1"@ 1700-1950 fps!! . The SSK 44 made the factory 240/1400 feel like a .22 plinker. They stretched my TC CONTENDER FRAME IN 3 shots. My SBH LOVED THEM , but needed a heavy scope and B Square mono mount to tame it. My wrist did not like them at all. My 454 casull was already heavy enough, with the scope. I quickly learned that these head designs would impact with such force and pass thru anything with 4 legs instantly dropping it, that 1700-1950 fps was not necessary. Loaded hotter than factory, but well below SSK LEVELS WOULD ALLOW YOUR WRIST TO DEAL WITH 100+ rounds at the range! The lead bullet advantage of lower friction, would give you 100 fps more than jacketed at the same powder charge, so I never used jacketed again). The powder Is h111. You can easily google the loads, email SSK, and have no trouble finding them. Be safe.

DWFan
August 31, 2011, 05:00 AM
Penn Bullets sells the 325gr SSK TC-BB and has that load data available.
http://www.pennbullets.com/44/44-caliber.html

CraigC
August 31, 2011, 08:03 AM
The 320gr SSK is the original heavyweight hunting bullet for the .44Mag. It is well proven on game all over the world. However, I think there are heavier and better designs available.

CraigC
September 3, 2011, 12:40 PM
I was reminded by fellow sixgunners that there was FA-only .44Mag data on page 215 of John Taffin's "Book of the .44". I dug it out of storage yesterday and found a section on FA's. The section has a quote appropriate to the discussion: "This is the strongest single action .44Mag ever made and will be hampered only by the brass, as case capacity wil run out long before the .44 Freedom Arms ever reaches the pressures that it is capable of handling."

With the following warning: "The accompanying loads are for the Freedom Arms .44Magnum only and are not necessarily recommended for any other .44Magnum......The Freedom Arms .44Magnum will handle them; other .44Magnums may not."


429244GC (255gr) - 1,784 fps
NEI 295.429KT (290gr) - 1,599 fps
SSK 320 - 1,542 fps
SSK 340 - 1,366 fps
FA 240gr JHP - 1,665 fps
FA 260gr JSP - 1,683 fps
FA 300gr JSP - 1,533 fps

Sometimes you just have to know where to look.

Lost Sheep
September 3, 2011, 11:16 PM
April 2010/No.265 Handloader magazine has published +P .44 mag loads used in a 7 1/2" Ruger RH testbed. I won't relay the data here or elsewhere, but to say it's stout is being too kind... 310 grain cast got 1495 fps, 340 grain cast got 1405 fps... I remember first reading in the late 70's of how Casull tried to destroy his then new .454 revolver using as much Bullseye that could be added to a case (almost 100% more over current Lyman max), then seat a 255 grain cast slug. All he reported post firing when the gun was retrieved from the remote barricade was some loose screws. After the test, he stated that pressures were estimated to be 90,000 psi.
Don't forget that Dick Casull and friends tied the gun to a tire with a string to the trigger and they fired the gun from behind a solid barricade. I remember reading the article and the phrase that stuck in my memory is "every screw in the gun was loose, but it was still within factory specs."

That degree of caution (getting some distance away and firing from behind a log) should tell you something.

Good luck.

Lost Sheep

P.S. You might get in contact with gofastman. He started a thread
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=612268
asking a similar question. Most (but not all) of the replies refer to semi-autos, but there are some references to revolvers, but the discussion about failure of steel vs failure of brass is of some value, I think.

CraigC
September 4, 2011, 12:41 PM
A thread about busted Glocks and AR's hardly has any bearing on this discussion.

slipknot
September 4, 2011, 12:44 PM
The first reply was your answer. The SSK heads that I was referring to were the 320.429, which was in J Taffins article and the 311.429, which I think is the same as the NEI SHAPE above. NEI made the SSK SHAPES. Forget gaschecks. The hard cast bullets that his article, jJDJones, and all use, are all non gas check. if you are a consistently better than average shot, you can bounce a soda can at 100 from a benchrest. When you can do it offhand under hunting stresses, like draw and shoot within 4 seconds, then you're a great shot. Your goal with ++P is to flatly extend the 100 yard point blank range of the 44/240@1400fps, which is 100yds, to 150 max. You'll need 1525-1550 fps to do that, and the hard cast lead bullets from 285-320 max can be driven that fast safely, (in a ruger SBH, redhawk, FA83), and offer the ballistic coeff to shed less fps. That's why they were developed. They will all penetrate thru & thru at 44spc velocities; it's not about penetration. Its about getting enough fps to shoot flatter to 125-150 yds. And like I said, forget about jacketed heads, and all the expansion hype they come with, the hard cast lead heads have the proven track record.

CraigC
September 4, 2011, 03:13 PM
Heads???

Jesse Heywood
September 4, 2011, 08:12 PM
Find some load manuals from the 60s & 70s, before the pressure ratings were lowered. An old shooting buddy loaded with these in his model 29s, which he would trade after shooting about 10,000 rounds and stretching the topstrap. Iirc it was in the late 70s which the pressure was lowered, a few years later Smith beefed up the topstrap on the 29.

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