HARD Cast .44 Mag w/H110


WNC Seabee
November 6, 2011, 08:04 PM
Is this a safe/sane/recommended load?

Missouri Bullet Co. Hard Cast, 18 Brinell, .430 Keith LSWC
23.5gr H110
1.605" OAL
Heavy Roll Crimp (Lee Factory Crimp Die)
Winchester Large Primer

I thought this was going to be about ideal when I ordered the bullets, but now I'm seeing mixed comments on the various interwebz postings.

Will be getting pushed out of a 5" S&W 629 and a Marlin 1894 (Ballard Rifling). And, pending accuracy results, taking whitetails at archery range with the 629 and out to ~125ish with the Marlin.

Thanks y'all!

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November 6, 2011, 08:12 PM
Bullet weight?

If it's a 240 Keith style SWC, 23.5 should be a light starting load & should work fine.

25.0 is MAX according to Lyman #49 data.


WNC Seabee
November 6, 2011, 08:31 PM
Doh! Yes, 240gr. Thanks!

November 6, 2011, 08:41 PM
You might find that load shoots fine without bumping it up.

18 BHN is what I would use for hogs. A little hard for my liking for deer. It won't expand but it will punch a hole clean through them from any angle.

November 6, 2011, 09:42 PM
Go for it pending accuracy results.

November 8, 2011, 10:59 PM
Thats a pretty good charge behind a non gas checked bullet. If your cylinder throats and barrel are .430 you might be fine. If they are bigger like my ruger Blackhawk you might have some issues. The bullet will definitely obturate. I just got some of the same bullet that I plan on shooting out of a 4" 629 over 10 to 12 grains of unique. We'll see

November 9, 2011, 01:50 PM
I tried working up a 250 grain Keith-Leadhead, sized at .430" in a brand new 4" 629-6, the bullet does not drop through the cylinder, nor does a .429" and I've read that the new guns have tight cylinder throats.

I started at 21.5 grains of H-110 and got 1223 fps, case extraction was slightly sticky, I then went to 22.0 grains for 1237 fps and case extraction was stickier, I quit there.

I called Hogdon and they suggested backing the load off to 21.0 grains rather then going forward to 22.5 grains. I mention this because of Hogdon's warnings not to REDUCE charges, I though this might be giving me the pressure signs?

I haven't had a chance to try the reduced load yet.

I can run this bullet at 1207-1245 fps with 20.5 to 21.0 grains of 2400 without case stickiness, so I'm not real sure whats up yet. The 21.0 grain load is hot for me and this gun and I've received good results with the 20.5 gr. load so I'll probably stick with it for awhile.

What I plan on doing is using 2400 and AA9 for the time being, since I can reduce those powders down and work up. Velocities are good and I'm not getting pressure signs.

I've read over and over again that the cylinder throats are tight in the newer Smiths and I "think" this might have something to do with getting early pressure signs. And the nature of 296/H110 being what it is, I've chosen to work with other powders until I decide whether or not I want to open the cylinder throats up.

On a different but related note, I have achieved 1130 fps with 20.0 grains of H110 and a 280 gr. BTB WFNGC sized to .429", this load has so far been accurate with easy extraction with my limited testing. Surprizingly 19.5 grains at 1109 fps DID give slightly sticky extraction???

Hogdon told me to use their Jacketed data for this 280 gr. bullet, 18.5-20.5 grains.

New Starline brass and CCI-300's with 2400 and AA9 and CCI-350's with H110. Moderate to heavy crimp.

I've run about 300 mild 240 grain LSWC and 200 "warmish" hardcast loads through my gun without leading issues.

As usual, please do your own due diligence when it comes to reloading, I typed this quickly and on the fly, and probably made mistakes, so please double and triple check any load data with published data, what works in my gun may be dangerous in yours.

November 9, 2011, 04:26 PM
I used the mbc hard cast keiths (but I think they said they were over 20 bhn?) in my ruger super redhawk with 23.5grains of h110. Velocity was 1430fps. I too used winchester large pistol primers. The first 1000 rounds fired great. Then I got a new box of 1000 primers, and each one pierced with this recipe if it was in an RP (remington) brass. So I now have pits etched in my revolver.

I've since reduced th load to 23.2grains of h110, switched to cci350 primers, and stopped using rp brass. I'm also using xtreme plated bullets now too -- same price and no traces of leading. I also sent winchester back their junk primers.

I'm not saying you should do any of this, but this has been my experience.


November 9, 2011, 05:08 PM
I run that load in my 5.5 inch Redhawk and get 1388 fps average.

I also run a load with 10 grains of Universal and get 1200 fps.

In a Redhawk, it's a safe load. I don't have a S&W in 44M so I can't comment on that.

WNC Seabee
November 13, 2011, 08:15 AM
I backed the charge down to 23.5 and seem to have found the sweet spot. Excellent accuracy at 25 & 50 yards.

November 13, 2011, 10:14 AM
I've been loading 23.0 with my hard cast 250 grain lead bullets since the 70's in my M-29's...

When i loaded ammo for sale, everyone got that same load/bullet and i never had even one ammo problem in any revolver...

It works perfectly in my revolvers, and i've won a ton of long range pistol matches with that load/bullet. I've also taken moose deer ect. with that combo too.


November 13, 2011, 01:13 PM
Find a load with that bullet that is accurate. Have no fear whatsoever that it will cleanly take deer at those velocities. Hard SWC's will penetrate very well and give 2 holes from which blood will leak. Tracking will be easy but a tracking job (short) will likely be needed unless you break something major in the animal.

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