Favorite Lead 44 magnum loads?


May 8, 2012, 12:23 PM
Well, I just ordered 1000 240gr SWC bullets from SNS casting. This is my first excursion into lead bullets for the 44 magnum, and the loads I've been seeing vary wildly from some sub 800 loads to 1400fps loads. Trying to save a little cash over jacketed and see if I like the lead world enough to think about casting.

Listed alloy is 92% lead 6% antimony and 2% tin with a BHN of about 17. I have the following powders to pull from: H110, 2400, BlueDot, 800X, Unique, Titegroup

Anyone have a favorte low, mid, or full magnum load for the 240 SWC?

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May 8, 2012, 06:05 PM
I use Blue Dot, with the maximum load listed in Lyman's 49th edition manual for their 429421 SWC.

May 8, 2012, 06:11 PM
10g of Unique is a smooth medium load for me and kind of a classic load to boot. For magnum I prefer 20.5g of 2400. Standard LP primers and 1.61 COAL for both.

Use best practices in working them up in your gun.

May 8, 2012, 06:23 PM
I use 24.5 grains of H110. It's about as hot as I'm willing to shoot in my mountain gun.

May 8, 2012, 06:39 PM
20gn 2400 w/240gn MBC SWC

11gn Unique was cleaner burn/no lead than 10gn with same bullet for me

both with std CCCI LPP

May 8, 2012, 08:01 PM
The Lyman 429421 W/10 grains of Unique is my favorite lower end load. My dad used to load that bullet with 6 grains of Bullseye.

May 8, 2012, 08:59 PM
18 gr of Blue Dot under a 300 gr XTP

Metal Tiger
May 8, 2012, 10:16 PM
For a moderate load 10 gr of unique is nice with the 240 gr lead SWC
My fav light load is 7 gr of Trail Boss over the Keith 240 gr SWC super sweet shooting.

evan price
May 9, 2012, 04:07 AM
240 LSWC
9.0-9.5 Titegroup
Good high-medium load.

May 9, 2012, 06:36 AM
16.5 of 2400 with cast bullet

May 9, 2012, 08:08 AM
Universal clays and Red Dot have done well for me. I save the 2400 for hot loads in jacketed bullets

May 9, 2012, 12:35 PM
The Lyman 429421 W/10 grains of Unique is my favorite lower end load.

This load works well for me too. That bullet from the Lyman mold is the only bullet I have used in my 44 Mag. Makes a fun plinking round.

May 9, 2012, 06:06 PM
I use Unique, Blue Dot, and 2400, for general loads for lead bullets in my .44 Magnums. FWIW; before you shoot lead bullets in your gun, you should measure the groove diameter and/or the cylinder throat diameter of your gun. Lead bullets are best if sized (or purchased) the same size as the cylinder throats and larger than the groove diameter. My Ruger (and Dan Wesson) has cylinder throats of .431" so I shoot .431" bullets and get no leading. My Contender has a groove diameter of .429" so I shoot .430" or .431" bullrts in it, no leading. Too small lead bullets in any gun, regardless of BHN hardness, will lead the barrel...

May 10, 2012, 07:38 AM
Thanks all for the loads, now I have something to go from! :)

One thing that continues to confound me is if you can go below minimums with fast-er powders (Unique, Titegroup, 800X). I know the dangers of underloading H110, but haven't heard much in the way of underloading faster powders.

The cyl throat diameters in my 629 will allow a .429"-.4295" jacketed round through with moderate/moderate-high thumb pressure, all 6 cyl react the same, and I bought .430" bullets.

May 10, 2012, 01:05 PM
.430" otta work. I just loaded some 250 gr. .432" lead bullets up with 19.5 gr. 2400, standard primers and a stout crimp. Should be a medium magnum load. I'll try it in my Ruger SBH, but it's primarily for my .44 Puma...

Problems with going too much below listed starting loads is erratic burning, dirty incomplete burning, and possible squibs. Many powders like to be loaded on the upward side of their pressure range for good even ignition/burn.

May 10, 2012, 09:02 PM
my 44ss4 just joined the " I like 10grs of unique and a 240g cast bullet" club today....holy crap is that accurate.

May 10, 2012, 10:32 PM
11.1 gr. 800X with a cast 240gr swc does around 1100fps out of a 4inch revolver. Well under max but exactly right for my mountain gun IMO.

May 10, 2012, 11:13 PM
9 or 10 grains of Unique for a very pleasant and accurate load to plink with. 18 grains of 2400 for a more magnum-like load to work your way up to 20 grains of 2400 which has all the snort and beller I need from the round. It also is very accurate. 15 grains of Blue Dot shoots to the same point of aim for me and has become my 'tweener load... not too hot, but enough spunk to call it a magnum. H110 was always a little erratic for me in my Rugers, but that's probably just me. Gots no experience with the other powders.
Have fun. .44 Maggie with cast bullets is a very versatile toy. With .430 diameter that harder alloy should work out okay in your gun. Casting your own you could go to a considerably softer alloy.


May 11, 2012, 12:04 AM
240gr. lead gas check, 7.5gr. Red Dot
And watch for high primers, right blarby?

May 11, 2012, 02:13 AM
Yes, high primers cause function issues, i've heard :D

May 13, 2012, 12:29 AM
With Unique and Lead bullets you can reduce your loads, i.e. load them with 44 Special charges plus .3gr
Note: if you use 44 Magnum cases with their larger capacity, increase the 44 Special Unique charges by .3gr to compensate for the larger case volume.
Based off Lyman 49th, you could load down to 6.1gr (5.8 + 0.3) with a 240gr LSWC.

May 13, 2012, 08:46 AM
+1 on the 10 grains of Unique, it's a great load.

May 13, 2012, 09:21 AM
my 44ss4 just joined the " I like 10grs of unique and a 240g cast bullet" club today....holy crap is that accurate.
I have yet to run into one that wasn't in that club. I mean if aa 44 won't group with 10.0 of Unique and a 240 LSWC there's something wrong with the gun.

May 13, 2012, 10:58 AM
For punching paper, I like a 240 LSWC over 8.0 Unique.

May 17, 2012, 11:46 AM
For hunting I have always used 19.5 gr of 2400 under a hard cast 240 LSWC.
Looking for a paper punching range load I'd tried many reduced loads over the years.
Recently loaded some 180 grain flat point "cowboy" bullets over 6.5 gr of Green Dot.
Only made 10 of them to test.
Holy cow! Drilled out the X-ring with my 4" Model 29.

41 Mag
May 19, 2012, 04:28 AM
I have just begun to search for cast loads in my 44 as well. The last trip out, I loaded from 17.5 through 20.5grs of 2400 looking for the best groups. I was shooting rested through a chrono and the target was at 50yds, as I was also trying to recover my bullets in a 6gal bucket filled with sand.

The best group came with 18grs so far, but I'm are not quite there yet. I will revisit the same testing using different primers as I feel the Winchester's might have been a tad hotter than needed.

I am looking for a hunting, and with my own cast HP's I want accuracy over velocity. After shooting almost one hole groups with both my 45 Colt and my 41 mag, I feel the 44 is lacking to say the least. The 18gr load was just over 3" at best. This might sound good, but the 45 Colt load shoots just over 5" at 100, and just over 1.5" at 50, and I feel these can be improved upon with a better effort on my part. .

May 20, 2012, 07:28 AM
Oops, posted my favorite jacketed load.

May 20, 2012, 11:03 PM
429421 wheel weight, Alox lube, 17.5 2400. Nice mid range load. (sized to chamber throat dia.)

May 21, 2012, 10:27 AM
Being that the 240gr SWC bullets from SNS casting are a non gas check design, I'd probably steer clear of H110 and 2400, concentrating on Unique (I have no experience with Blue Dot or Titegroup in .44 Magnum). I've gotten some pretty bad leading with H110 and 2400 pushing plain base bullets at higher velocities.
Work up a load with Unique until you reach the power level you want combined with decent accuracy. In my experience, Unique has to be loaded so that it has enough pressure to burn cleanly before it will give good accuracy long term, I usually hit that "sweet spot" somewhere around 10 grains or a touch more.

May 21, 2012, 11:20 AM
Two of my favorite loads for the 44 mag:

240 gr. SWC pushed by 10.5 grs. Unique.

240 gr. SWC pushed by 20.1 grs. 4227.

Accurate, nice shooting.

May 21, 2012, 10:39 PM
Type: Light target/plinking load
Powder: Winchester W231
Pwdr Weight: 7.5 gr
Bullet: 240 gr Hornady LSWC
Brass: Remington R-P
Primer: CCI LP
COAL: 1.565"

Velocity: 1,000 fps from a 5.5" barrel

May 22, 2012, 03:04 PM
Sorry to be a dummy but who is SNS casting? Never heard of them. I look for new bullets to try. My 44 mag load is lyman 429244 a 240 gr. gas check cast hard over 22 gr. 2400 powder. Gives 1400 fps in 8.5" t/c. Have fun and bangaway.

May 22, 2012, 03:26 PM
Powder: 9.5 gr Accurate No.5
Brass: W-W
Bullet: 200gr Mid-Kansas LRNFN
Primer: Win WLP
OAL: 1.575"
Type: Light-medium target/plinking

Velocity: 980 fps (guessing)

May 22, 2012, 03:34 PM
Powder: 7.5.0 gr A-A No.5
Brass: W-W
Bullet: 200gr Mid-Kansas LRNFP
Primer: Various
OAL: 1.575"
Type: Light

Velocity: 750 fps (guessing) from a 5.5" revolver.

This is basically at low level .44 Spl load in a .44 Mag case, bullet seated deeply to achieve the short COAL.

May 25, 2012, 08:33 AM
bangaway - SNS Casting, also known as S&S Casting.
Here's a link.



May 25, 2012, 08:52 AM
44 mag. 240-250 gr lswc-WLP-23.0gr W296 or 10.0gr Unique.

May 26, 2012, 10:26 AM
Got a 629 but only .44special brass could you load 10gr unique and 240gr lswc in that special case?

May 26, 2012, 10:48 AM
Got a 629 but only .44special brass could you load 10gr unique and 240gr lswc in that special case? NO Alliant Data shows 6.9 gr maximum. Lyman cast shows 8.0gr Maximum. Start at 6.0 gr. and work up as always. :)

May 26, 2012, 06:54 PM
Since the mid 1970s: 255 grn swc from a Saeco mold over 18grns of 2400. 1200fps in my Smith and a little more in my Super Blackhawk. ACCURATE!

June 14, 2012, 08:32 AM
Thanks to all for the recipes, I FINALLY was able to get out to the range with a couple I made

240SWC over 4.9gr TiteGroup
240SWC over 8.2gr TiteGroup
240SWC over 9.5gr Unique

Oddly enough, the Titegroup loads worked best in my revolver, and had a lot less smoke than the Unique load. The Unique load was really smokey (though the only thing I have to compare it to was the TiteGroup loads). Some streaks and stuff at the forcing cone and alone the barrel, but I think that might just be the lube of other stuff since one round of a 180gr XTP over 31gr H110 cleaned it up perfectly. Overall a positive day.

Best part of the day was the Wife was with me, and she shot some of the 4.9 TG loads. And with them being rounds 3-9 that she's ever fired from a 44, she had a dinner plate sized group around the bull at 14yd's (I'm so proud :D)

Oddity, with the 4.9gr of TG loads, when she was shooting them, they looked like tracers when viewed from an off angle in bright sunlight, I could see them go through the air and hit the target.

June 14, 2012, 09:39 AM
20gr. Hercules 2400, 429-421 RSBH 7.5in. Gets your attention!

June 14, 2012, 11:12 AM
this.... 7.5-8 grs of Unique is a great plinking, target load with a 240 gr. lead bullet...

June 14, 2012, 11:23 AM
This is a .45 Colt +P load that I really like: 255 grain cast bullet, 12.2 grains of Herco.

An equivalent .44 Magnum load would be 12 to 12.5 grains of Herco with a 240 cast bullet. I would classify it as "medium plus"

Also try 7.5 to 8.0 grains of Red Dot or Promo for a "low to medium" magnum load.

June 15, 2012, 12:17 AM
I love 200-215 grain lead bullets through my T/C. Accurate and easy on the recoil.

June 15, 2012, 09:02 AM
20gr. Hercules 2400, 429-421 RSBH 7.5in. Gets your attention!

This load is snappy in my Contender. It also clocks over 1500FPS out of my 10in. bull barrel.

June 15, 2012, 10:00 AM
Got a couple :

240g LTFC, 10.5g Unique

245g GCLSWC : 22.0g H-110, Magnum primer.

When I get my 44 back though, I'm gonna have to continue my research on HS-6....as it is used on my buckshot loads too, and I love multi-purpose.

June 15, 2012, 10:54 AM
I have been shooting 24 gr H110 240 gr JHP for 10 years in my 29-4 44 mag. That may be a standard book load, but it kicks hard enough.

June 15, 2012, 11:35 AM
18 gr of Blue Dot under a 300 gr XTP

This can not be correct (or safe)...

My Hornady 4th edition lists a max of 12.5gr of Blue Dot with the 300gr XTP...

Alliant as of 2004 listed 11.7gr Max with this bullet...

June 15, 2012, 11:57 PM
8 or 9 grains of Universal works good in my 44's

June 16, 2012, 12:49 AM
There is more published data found everywhere for a 240gr bullet (jacketed and cast lead) in 44 Mag caliber than any other combination I know of.

But if you want to ask, I'll bite too. I have an old Lyman manual from the 70's that lists 22.5gr of 2400 behind a 240gr gas check cast lead bullet.

Also, 6 to 7 gr of Bullseye is very pleasurable and very accurate.

June 16, 2012, 01:29 AM
I use 6g of Unique under a cast 240g SWC from a Lee mold. I shoot this out of my 329PD and it is very mild. My big boy load is a cast 270 grain bullet over some 296.

June 16, 2012, 11:35 AM
Here is the roller coaster

"Speer 3" 1959 44 mag 240 gr. JSP..........23.0 gr. 2400 1564 fps
"Speer 6" 1964 44 mag 240 gr. JSP..........23.0 gr. 2400 1564 fps
"Speer 7" 1966 44 mag 240 gr. JSP..........23.0 gr. 2400 1564 fps
"Speer 8" 1970 44 mag 240 gr. JSP..........23.0 gr. 2400 1521 fps
"Speer 9" 1974 44 mag 240 gr. JSP..........19.5 gr. 2400 1344 fps
"Speer 10" 1979 44 mag 240 gr. JSP&MSP 22.2 gr. 2400 1392 fps.
"Speer 11" 1987 44 mag 240 gr. JSP&MSP 22.2 gr. 2400 1452 fps
"Speer 12" 1994 44 mag 240 gr. JSP&MSP 17.7 gr. 2400 1271 fps
"Speer 13" 1998 44 mag 240 gr. JSP&MSP 21.0 gr. 2400 1434 fps
"Speer 14" 2007 44 mag 240 gr. JSP&MSP 21.0 gr. 2400 ???? fps

That is a 30% variation.

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