This .44spl load ok??


February 22, 2013, 06:21 PM
I am new to reloading the .44spl (mostly just load the .44mag). The load I have worked up for my Taurus 445 Titanium feels brutal in the recoil department (about like shooting a stout load in a .357 airweight). My load is 16gr of IMR 4227 over a 240gr Keith style LSWC. I suppose it should be fairly stout being fired from such a light revolver, but this load makes the factory PMC 180gr JHP load feel like a cowboy round.:what: I dont have a chrono, can anyone double check this load for me? Brass shows no pressure signs.

My .44mag load is the same, but with 22gr charge.

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February 22, 2013, 06:48 PM
According to Lyman 49, it's hot. Their data for 4227 with a 240 gr. lead bullet in .44 SPL is 12.7 starting load to 14.2 max. They also have data for the traditional Keith bullet, #429421 at 245 grains, with a start charge of 11.7 and a max of 14.7.

Where did you get your data?

February 22, 2013, 07:23 PM
Where did you get your data?

From some older magazine articles about 44spl hunting/defensive loads. They start at 14.5gr and go up to 18gr. The problem with most manuals I here is that they rarely offer "spunky" 44spl loading recipes, as they are too worried about someone using stout loads in 100 year old revolvers. I know 16gr is still well under Keith level loads (most started at 17gr and went up, with a 250gr). Max loads listed are usually around 13,000 pressure, but max .44spl is really 15,500.

February 22, 2013, 07:24 PM
None of the factory 44 Spl loads are very high pressure because there is always the chance of putting one in an old gun that was not built for high pressure loads. Pretty easy to handload beyond the factory pressures for modern guns. So, I am not surprised your load feels much hotter than the factory rounds you mention. Yet, as others have said, that is a hot load. Where did you get your data?

The online data I got from Hodgdon says 11.5 to 13.2 gr 4227. with that bullet in the 44 Spl.

February 23, 2013, 01:18 AM
I have been reloading 44 Spl since 1958. My original manual never had a load for 4227, but Unique was the powder of choice for 44 Spl. Perhaps it still is?

I do note that from that first manual to the current data the charges have dropped a couple of grains. Wonder why that is? I can only guess, but know that at the time I got my first 44 Spl SAA was right after the Elmer Keith experimental days and he had really been pushing that caliber, yet in the years to follow it likely became evident that those charges were demolishing too many guns. (again, my guess)

My go to load for years was 7.7 gr of Unique with a 250 gr bullet. Now the manuals are saying 6.6 to 6.9 max depending where you look.

Well, even that will put the 44 bullet at around 800 fps, and believe me it will get the job done for a carry piece.

Hey, I too have a Taurus Titanium 44 Spl. It is my favorite carry piece.

Do as you will. I will say that I have always felt it a good thing to stay within recently published levels.

35 Whelen
February 23, 2013, 01:19 AM
Order yourself a back issue of Handloader #236. It has an excellent article on the .44 Special with tons of "spunky" loads. The load data is broken down into three catagories according to the pressure of the loads.

I don't know anything about the Taurus you're loading for, but I've shot hundreds of .44 Specials out of 4 or 5 Colts SA clones. At less than 20 oz., I'd bet that pistol is brutal to shoot. I've fired my Dad's 3" Charter Arms in .44 Special and it's an ounce or two heavier than yours and it's a handfull when loaded with 240 gr. bullets.

I'd suggest switching to a faster burning powder such as Bullseye, Red Dot or Unique. Smaller charges of faster powder will help reduce recoil. I use all in my .44's. 5.5 grs. of Bullseye and a 250 gr. SWC does a little over 800 fps in my 4 3/4" and shoots quite well. If you feel like a he-man, 7.5 grs of Unique and the same bullet does around 925 in my 4 3/4" Uberti and is accurate. It's a little over SAAMI specs pressure-wise, but cases drop from the cylinders of my pistols. With the same bullet I've loaded 4.7 grs. of Red Dot and this runs the 250 gr. under 700 fps and is pleasant to shoot.

Bottom line is physics. Pistols that are comfortable to carry (lightweight) are uncomfortable to shoot.


Float Pilot
February 23, 2013, 04:13 AM
Yeap, you are shooting a pretty hot load from an ALLOY FRAMED gun that was made in South America. The cylinder thickness and barrel forcing cone thickness are not as large as the S&W revolvers...

We had a pretty long thread going about the 44 special, mostly in the M-445 UL snubbie, with a few other revolvers thrown in...

here it is....

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