.44 Special Loads for Blackhawks


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35 Whelen
March 12, 2013, 12:45 AM
I just picked up a slightly used Ruger Flat Top Blackhawk in .44 Special for a knock around pistol that I can also use for deer, etc. Today after work I had time to do a bit of load testing and thought I'd post it here since it seems .44 Special +P type data is hard to find.
I took these loads directly out of Handloader #236 which had an excellent article on the .44 Special including tons of data. The loads here were all safe in my Blackhawk and I had zero pressure signs. Even with the hottest load the case would drop right out of the (filthy) chambers after a little nudge from the ejector rod.

All loads used Starline brass, CCI 300 primers, except the AL2400 loads which used a WLP. The bullet was a home-cast 260 gr. SWC with a BHN in the 11.5 range.

6.5 gr. Unique- 868 fps
7.5 gr. Unique- 957 fps (e.s.=20)
8.0 gr. Unique- 1002 fps (e.s.=18)
8.5 gr. Unique- 1051 fps (e.s.=24)

The above loads left a little lead ahead of the forcing cone, so I cleaned the pistol after testing them then fired these:

16.0 gr. AL2400- 1122 fps (e.s.-102)
16.5 gr. AL2400- 1189 fps (e.s.- 69)
17.0 gr. AL2400- 1218 fps (e.s.=29)

The last three loads left NO leading near the forcing cone but a negligible amount near the muzzle.

The pistol has been pretty darned accurate to the point that I never shoot it at 25 yds. with 50 and usually 100 being where most of the testing is done.

The 6.5 gr. load is a very nice general use load that's really quite accurate:

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Ruger%20Flat%20Top%20Blackhawk/50ydgroup-2-ed_zpsccf94f33.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Ruger%20Flat%20Top%20Blackhawk/50ydgroup-1-ed_zpse29ecae1.jpg

The 7.5 gr. load I'm guessing would probably work nice for deer at shorter ranges and was quite accurate.

The real surprise was the last load. It was .5 grs. shy of Elmer Keith's load of 17.5 grs. but nevertheless ran 1218 fps which is REAL close to the original .44 Magnum ballistics. The best part of that was it quite accurate:
http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Ruger%20Flat%20Top%20Blackhawk/429421100yds-ed_zps11ec5c24.jpg

I really don't see much use for this load unless I decide to try the .44 on my next elk hunt.

35W

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murf
March 12, 2013, 04:48 AM
are those shots taken off-hand, or bench rested? nice shooting, by the way.

nice grips. would like a set like that for mine (it has the flat black plastic ones).

i worked up a load for a lbt style 300 grain lead gas checked bullet. does just under 1000 fps through the chrony. accurate, too. shoots high, though. sights won't go down far enough to shoot poa at 25 yards. five inches high is the lowest that load will go.

will stick with the 250 grain keith bullet at 875 fps.

murf

35 Whelen
March 12, 2013, 05:20 AM
are those shots taken off-hand, or bench rested? nice shooting, by the way.

nice grips. would like a set like that for mine (it has the flat black plastic ones).

i worked up a load for a lbt style 300 grain lead gas checked bullet. does just under 1000 fps through the chrony. accurate, too. shoots high, though. sights won't go down far enough to shoot poa at 25 yards. five inches high is the lowest that load will go.

will stick with the 250 grain keith bullet at 875 fps.

murf

Thanks...Oh, they're benchrested. I like the grips too, they came with the pistol as did the plastic ones. I think tose wood grips can be found fairly easily on the auction sites.

The article I mention in the OP has a load for a 300 gr. bullet. I'll check on it for you.

Regarding the high point of impact, mine was doing the same thing. I took the rear sight off and removed .010" of metal from the under the very rear of the sight. This helped tons but still at its lowest setting it's high with some loads. I plan to remove another .010" soon.

35W

the Black Spot
March 12, 2013, 10:24 AM
I have run the 17 gr of 2400 load in mag cases in a super bh, quite accurate with 260 gr cast bullet of wheel weights.
I have run some 315 gr cast bullets in a uberti cattleman 44 special using 9.5 gr of 2400, milder load within the 15,500 saami specs. Accurate as well.

thomis
March 12, 2013, 03:08 PM
Thanks for the great post on .44 special loads.
I just ordered a ton of .44 special brass and have a bunch of cast bullets coming my way. I'll be trying your 2400 loads.
I've shot the same loads with Unique powder with very similar results you had. Very accurate!
Yes, those grips sure are pretty. My rosewood grips are nearly blackened with wear and age.

35 Whelen
March 13, 2013, 12:18 AM
MAybe we can keep this thread going as we work up more loads. Honestly, all I ever use is older powders and I'd like to see others results from powders such as Power Pistol, Tightgroup, etc.

35W

the Black Spot
March 13, 2013, 08:46 AM
Check the the thread float pilot started called "44 special pet loads???" Last entry was 3/8/13. About 5 pages of loads and verious powders used.

MovedWest
March 14, 2013, 03:36 AM
Careful with your loads Whelen. Not to sound preachy, but remember that's a 44spl, not a magnum. I have a hot 44spl load with 8.3gr of Unique under a 200gr XTP that is over pressure, but I only have magnum guns. I know 8.5gr of Unique with a 260gr is way beyond that.

Ruger has a great reputation for strength, but that's only for the magnum revolvers AKAIK. Please be careful and make sure you note that some of your loads are over max pressure when you post.

-MW

1911Tuner
March 14, 2013, 04:25 AM
he real surprise was the last load. It was .5 grs. shy of Elmer Keith's load of 17.5 grs. but nevertheless ran 1218 fps which is REAL close to the original .44 Magnum ballistics.

Uh...no. The original .44 Magnum firing the gas-checked 240 grain LSWC would have delivered close to 1450 fps from that 5.5-inch barrel.

Careful with your loads Whelen. Not to sound preachy, but remember that's a 44spl, not a magnum.

This...is sound advice. You're essentially touching off a controlled explosion 18 inches from the end of your nose.

Although that Ruger is a good bit stronger than the 1873 SAA revolvers that Keith worked up his loads in...and a limited amount of that ammunition probably won't blow it up...it's still a medium-framed Blackhawk. A steady diet of it is very likely to bend it eventually. I'd use it on a "need only" basis.

There is little that you can do with a 260-grain cast bullet at 1200 fps that you can't do with the same bullet at a thousand besides do it at a little longer range. Beyond a certain point, more velocity serves mainly to flatten trajectory. If you need more killing power at reasonable hunting ranges, what you need is more bullet rather than more speed.

35 Whelen
March 14, 2013, 06:28 AM
Careful with your loads Whelen. Not to sound preachy, but remember that's a 44spl, not a magnum. I have a hot 44spl load with 8.3gr of Unique under a 200gr XTP that is over pressure, but I only have magnum guns. I know 8.5gr of Unique with a 260gr is way beyond that.

Ruger has a great reputation for strength, but that's only for the magnum revolvers AKAIK. Please be careful and make sure you note that some of your loads are over max pressure when you post.

-MW
.... thought I'd post it here since it seems .44 Special +P type data is hard to find. I thought I made that clear.

The Ruger .357 Magnum and .44 Special share the same "mid-size" frame since 2005.

Uh...no. The original .44 Magnum firing the gas-checked 240 grain LSWC would have delivered close to 1450 fps from that 5.5-inch barrel.

You are absolutely correct. What I should have said was "...ran 1218 fps which is REAL close to current .44 Magnum ballistics." This would've been a more accurate statement because with the exception of specialty ammunition such as Core-Bon and Buffalo Bore, the final load I tested was well within 100 fps of practically all factory .44 Mag loads with their 240 - 250 gr. bullets.

Although that Ruger is a good bit stronger than the 1873 SAA revolvers that Keith worked up his loads in...and a limited amount of that ammunition probably won't blow it up...it's still a medium-framed Blackhawk. A steady diet of it is very likely to bend it eventually. I'd use it on a "need only" basis.

"Bend" it? How would 25K PSI class loads bend this revolver frame? That'd be the same frame on which the .357 Magnum, running roughly 40% more chamber pressure, is built.

There is little that you can do with a 260-grain cast bullet at 1200 fps that you can't do with the same bullet at a thousand besides do it at a little longer range. Beyond a certain point, more velocity serves mainly to flatten trajectory. If you need more killing power at reasonable hunting ranges, what you need is more bullet rather than more speed.

Again, you are correct, but evidently you missed the last sentence of my post.

It also begs the question: With ballistics such as these, who really needs a .44 Magnum? ;)

35W

1911Tuner
March 14, 2013, 12:42 PM
Bend" it? How would 25K PSI class loads bend this revolver frame? That'd be the same frame on which the .357 Magnum, running roughly 40% more chamber pressure, is built.

That was a paraphrased version of an old mechanic's warning about pushing an engine past reasonable limits.

To wit:

"Ya might not break it, but you can sure as hell bend it."

Pressure isn't the only concern, though it's certainly something to be aware of.

Recoil impulse and tensile stresses coming from the bullet's frictional forward drag on the barrel, with equal/opposite force driving the rear half of the gun backward against that drag that's the big, ugly fly in the ointment. It stretches revolver frames and is the main factor in creating endshake and excessive headspace.

Back in the day when I was obsessed with those pesky 200 meter rams, after ruining two Smith Model 29s, I managed to stretch two Super Blackhawk frames to the point that Ruger couldn't repair one, and warned me to limit the other to moderate use with factory standard ammunition...or lower.

Admittedly, I'd pushed the envelope with my handloads, but not to insane levels...and because the big Ruger had a reputation for brute strength...I figured it'd be okay.

And it was for a while.

While we're on the subject of overloading cartridges, call Ruger and ask them for their take on the "Ruger Only" data contained in most of the loading manuals. They'll tell you in a Tennessee heartbeat that they're not on board with that, and that you'll use it at your own risk and at the risk of your warranty.

I imagine that they'd tell you the same thing in regards to your .44 Special.

rcmodel
March 14, 2013, 12:59 PM
Here is a great read on the .44 Spl and the various classes of guns with pressure limits.

http://www.goodrichfamilyassoc.org/44_Special_Articles/Brian%20Pearce%20on%20the%2044%20Special.pdf

The New Blackhawk is a Class Two, 22,000 PSI gun, same as a modern Colt SAA.

rc

mavracer
March 14, 2013, 01:21 PM
It also begs the question: With ballistics such as these, who really needs a .44 Magnum?
Anyone with the ability to compare apples to apples might. You're comparing maxed out specials against mid level mags.

BBQJOE
March 14, 2013, 01:24 PM
My favorite round to shoot .44 spl is 6.1 Unique +/- whatever the loader throws, with the 240 swc.

35 Whelen
March 14, 2013, 05:41 PM
Here is a great read on the .44 Spl and the various classes of guns with pressure limits.

http://www.goodrichfamilyassoc.org/44_Special_Articles/Brian%20Pearce%20on%20the%2044%20Special.pdf

The New Blackhawk is a Class Two, 22,000 PSI gun, same as a modern Colt SAA.

rc
I have the hard copy of that magazine RC, and it was the basis for my load development. If you'll look on page 41 he puts the Blackhawk in the 25K catagory.

Anyone with the ability to compare apples to apples might. You're comparing maxed out specials against mid level mags.

Not at all. I'm comparing pineapples to pomegranates.:D

If you'll read my post again, you'll see I'm comparing my results with .44 Special handloads to .44 Magnum factory loads of similar bullet weights, excluding specialty loads, as they are very similar. Which to my way of thinking means if it can be done with one of these Magnum factory loads, then can likewise be done with a Special handload.

35W

James2
March 14, 2013, 05:53 PM
No doubt in my mind that you can load the 44 spl brass right up to full magnum pressures.
Not a smart thing to do though since the 44 spl guns were not made for that kind of pressure.
Why do you need a Magnum? So you don't blow up your 44 Spl trying to make it a magnum!

35 Whelen
March 14, 2013, 06:51 PM
No doubt in my mind that you can load the 44 spl brass right up to full magnum pressures.
Not a smart thing to do though since the 44 spl guns were not made for that kind of pressure.
Why do you need a Magnum? So you don't blow up your 44 Spl trying to make it a magnum!

See Post #10. Specifically the response to the fourth quote, then re-read the OP and pay attention to the final statement of that post. Then have a look at the *.pdf article RC so kindly made available in Post #12 and note that my upper end loads are 25,000 psi loads...a FAR cry from .44 Magnum pressures.

The intent of the thread was for folks who might be interested in loads for their .44 Special. If the content doesn't interest you or just plain frightens you, you don't have to read it.

35W

James2
March 14, 2013, 06:52 PM
http://www.goodrichfamilyassoc.org/4...%20Special.pdf

The New Blackhawk is a Class Two, 22,000 PSI gun, same as a modern Colt SAA.

RC, thanks for the link. Nice read.

The 44 Spl was my first big bore caliber. My gun was a Colt SAA purchased about 1958 I believe. I loaded in the category 2 range with 7.7 gr of Unique and a 250 gr cast bullet. These proved to be OK in the Colt and the gun fired many thousands of them. Even so, the loads could have been dangerous in an older, not quite so strong gun. (This may still be a valid concern when we load hot 44 spls)

This is certainly a great caliber for a handgun and the Colt was my woods gun. It never failed to do whatever I asked it to do. The 250 gr slug at around 900 FPS is adequate for anything I ever came up against.

Why do we play with guns any way? To punch paper? To hunt critters? For self defense? Just because we like them?

Let me again say something I have said many times, "Getting something done with a gun depends more on the shooter than the gun." I have seen critters from a mouse to an elk dispatched with a 22LR out of a Ruger Single Six. The trick is to hit them in a vital spot. IOW learn to shoot. (That last comment is not directed at anyone in particular, but is wisdom learned over many years and applies to me first. It is a reminder to work on my own technique. Please don't be offended by it. )

murf
March 14, 2013, 07:54 PM
35 whelen,

i'm going to try and put a white line horizontally on the rear sight, sort of like the lines on a front sight for long distance shooting. that way i can "have it both ways" for my 300 and 250 grain loads.

i'll let you know how it goes.

oh, i have the handloader articles for loading reference. handy for that ruger 44spl. and it's capabilities.

lipsey's just brought out another flattop in 45 long colt/45 acp. the frame is identical to the 44spl flattop except, of course, for the larger holes in the barrel and cylinder. the acp cylinder is rated at 23,000 psi (+p pressure) so, the 44spl cylinder, having smaller holes and more metal, should be able to "handle" the 8% increase in pressure.

what i'm getting at is not to worry about stretching frames, end shake, whatever. the gun will handle it with ease, in my opinion.

murf

35 Whelen
March 14, 2013, 08:23 PM
35 whelen,

i'm going to try and put a white line horizontally on the rear sight, sort of like the lines on a front sight for long distance shooting. that way i can "have it both ways" for my 300 and 250 grain loads.

i'll let you know how it goes.

oh, i have the handloader articles for loading reference. handy for that ruger 44spl. and it's capabilities.

lipsey's just brought out another flattop in 45 long colt/45 acp. the frame is identical to the 44spl flattop except, of course, for the larger holes in the barrel and cylinder. the acp cylinder is rated at 23,000 psi (+p pressure) so, the 44spl cylinder, having smaller holes and more metal, should be able to "handle" the 8% increase in pressure.

what i'm getting at is not to worry about stretching frames, end shake, whatever. the gun will handle it with ease, in my opinion.

murf

Yes, let me know how it goes with the rear sight.

You might try taking some of the rear sight off as I described in another post. Midway sells those rear sights and they're pretty inexpensive and very easy to remove and reinstall.

I don't worry in the least about trashing the pistol with these loads. I'll likely use the 6.5 gr. of Unique load for every day stuff and the 7.5 gr. load for hunting deer and hogs.

I like to think of a handgun such as this .44 Special as an automobile. For example, I know that my pickup will do 110 mph because I tried it. That doesn't mean I'll drive it that fast even if I could. Likewise, I know that my .44 Special will easily drive a 260 gr. bullet over 1200 fps. Does that mean I'll shoot these loads on a day to day basis? Of course not, that'd be pointless, but knowing that capability is there if and when I need it is nice!

35W

336A
March 15, 2013, 04:36 AM
Here is a great read on the .44 Spl and the various classes of guns with pressure limits.

http://www.goodrichfamilyassoc.org/4...%20Special.pdf

The New Blackhawk is a Class Two, 22,000 PSI gun, same as a modern Colt SAA.


No that is not right, Mr. Pearce specifically states in his article on the Ruger Flat Top .44 SPL that it's capable of digesting a steady diet of 25,000psi loads. http://www.goodrichfamilyassoc.org/44_Special_Articles/Ruger%20Lipsey%2044%20Special.pdf

However that I think that the "Skeeter Load" is more useful for day to day chores and would save the Keith loads for special occasions.

mavracer
March 15, 2013, 11:12 AM
35 I'm well versed on the capabilities of both the 44 mag and special. Your load data has only been around for 50 or 60 years. Uncle Elmer was shooting those loads in Colts, But like Elmer did with the advent of the 44 mag I don't see any need to push my specials past the Skeeter (7.5 unique) load because 44 magnum chambered guns are avaliable.
As for reading your posts maybe you should try. I only answered the question you begged us to. ;)

35 Whelen
March 15, 2013, 02:51 PM
Oh yes mav, I knew without a doubt you were a 44 Mag owner when I read your first post. When the subject turns to loading the Special to its full potnential, the Magnum owners are easy to spot because their heinies are always the reddest;)

35W

4895
March 15, 2013, 05:28 PM
I have both a .44 special and a .44 magnum.

The .44 special is a Taurus 445 ultralight snub nose revolver. I use 5.7g Unique with a 240g SWC and find it a pleasure to shoot in the 5-shooter. I broke it in less than 1500 rounds and never left book specs while working up loads.

The .44 mag is a Ruger Blackhawk 6.5" model that will hopefully last a lifetime. I have shot some hot W296 loads and some 10g Unique 240 swc loads as well. I do however have an indoor shooting range nearby that limits shooters to .44 special cartridges. I too loaded up 50 rounds of 240 swc with 17.5g 2400 in .44 special cases. I found the recoil to be more of a push that the muzzle flip accustomed to loadings with h110/w296.

I wouldn't try Keith's load in any production .44 special for anything. I would probably be ok...but I don't like making statements like that..probably be ok...

But heck, I'll shoot them all day in a .44 mag!

mavracer
March 15, 2013, 07:06 PM
Now now 35 don't shoot the messinger, I'm simply answering the question you begged to ask.
"With ballistics such as these, who really needs a .44 Magnum?"
Somebody who wants to shoot a run of the mill factory 240gr bullet at 1200fps or somebody that wants to push the limits of their gun a bit an shoot 300gr bullets at over 1300 fps or maybe somebody who wants to have a legal handgun to hunt deer in the state of Kansas.
Either of these can be accomplished with a Mag and can not with a special.
Personal attacks won't change these facts.;)

35 Whelen
March 15, 2013, 08:54 PM
Now now 35 don't shoot the messinger, I'm simply answering the question you begged to ask.
"With ballistics such as these, who really needs a .44 Magnum?"
Somebody who wants to shoot a run of the mill factory 240gr bullet at 1200fps or somebody that wants to push the limits of their gun a bit an shoot 300gr bullets at over 1300 fps or maybe somebody who wants to have a legal handgun to hunt deer in the state of Kansas.
Either of these can be accomplished with a Mag and can not with a special.
Personal attacks won't change these facts.;)

I am so sorry I attacked you personally, offended your senses and hurt your feelings :confused: And I didn't intend to make you or anyone else feel bad about themselves or their firearms or in any way insinuate that you or your .44 Magnums are inadequate. You both are very important.

You know well the point I was making with the (rhetorical) question, so there's no need in me elaborating or rehashing. You did see the little winking icon at the end of the question, didn't you?

But like Elmer did with the advent of the 44 mag I don't see any need to push my specials past the Skeeter (7.5 unique) load because 44 magnum chambered guns are avaliable.

Odd. I happen have a Lyman Cast Bullet manual copyrighted 1958 in front of me in which Mr. Keith has a page dedicated to his load "Recommendations" for five cartridges which include the .44 Special AND the .44 Magnum.

With regards to the .44 Special he wrote VERBATIM: "I use 5 grains of Bullseye for light loads or 7.5 grs. of Unique for target. I use 18.5 grains of 2400 in heavy loads in old-style cases. For the new solid-head case use 5.0 grains of Bullseye or 7.5 grains of Unique, but cut the 2400 load to 17.0 grains for the heavy loads with all three .44 Special bullets." He's talking about the 429421, 429422 and 429421 HP bullets. Unless I'm missing something, he's still recommending the loads he has for (at that point) 20 or so years.
I think you may have your "Uncle Elmers" confused.

I checked the Kansas wildlife regulations and Lo and Behold! 1.285" minimum cartridge case length for big game?!? Has NO ONE in the state thought to point out that their regulations prohibit such cartridges the .44 Special, 45 ACP, 45 AR while allowing such powerhouses :rolleyes: as the 30 Carbine, 32-20. 38-40 and 44-40?

35W

35 Whelen
March 15, 2013, 09:02 PM
...and by the way, I've definitely settled on the 6.5 gr. of Unique load for day to day carry when doing chores, feeding, etc. It shoots well in all three of my .44 Specials as well as my 1873 rifle from which it runs almost 1100 fps. All that's left is to cast MORE bullets.

35W

murf
March 15, 2013, 10:21 PM
35 whelen,

what diameter are those bullets?

murf

murf
March 15, 2013, 10:27 PM
11 bhn is pretty soft and may expand @ 1200 fps muzzle velocity. deer and bear medicine?

murf

mavracer
March 15, 2013, 10:32 PM
I am so sorry I attacked you personally, offended your senses and hurt your feelings
Oh don't worry you're not bothering me in the least, just trying to help keep facts straight. It's fairly obvious by the fact that you have resorted to rhetoric whos feathers are ruffled.
Not sure if you are aware but copyright would be the year the book was printed but it doesn't mean that the writings are new, the 44 Special excerpt could have been written 20 years earlier and reprinted with permission.
I checked the Kansas wildlife regulations and Lo and Behold! 1.285" minimum cartridge case length for big game?!? Has NO ONE in the state thought to point out that their regulations prohibit such cartridges the .44 Special, 45 ACP, 45 AR while allowing such powerhouses as the 30 Carbine, 32-20. 38-40 and 44-40?
As with most times they try to regulate morality, ethics or integrity you end up with stupid laws. The law also would make it legal to hunt deer with 7.5gr of unique in 44 mag cases and illegal to with the same charge in a special case. even though the Special case would give you a good 50 fps more velocity.
For the record I am actually a big 44 special fan and shoot far more specials than I do mags. My prefered load is a 215gr SWC with 7.0gr of unique. The only reason for 215 instead of 240ish is because it has a very short nose and allows me to load 10 in my trapper length '92 for CAS.

35 Whelen
March 15, 2013, 11:47 PM
murf, those bullets are out of an NOE 429421 Mould. (http://noebulletmolds.com/NV/product_info.php?cPath=37&products_id=244) I JUST walked in the house from casting another 250 or so of them. The alloy was wheelweights with a chunk of mostly pure lead tossed in the pot to soften the bullets a bit. I mic'ed a few and they were all .434" and weighed from 259.3 to 260.0. They should set up to right at 11 BHN. I don't know if they'll expand or not. I've just now decided try hunting with a handgun so I have no experience on game.

Here (http://www.goodrichfamilyassoc.org/44_Special_Articles/) is a collection of several articles on the .44 Special that probably have the info you're after. Brian Pearce wrote a couple of them and has tons of experience with regards to handgun hunting. Somewhere I read in one of his articles where he shot a bull elk @ about 100 yds. with a Colt SA in .44 Special and a 250-ish gr. Keith type SWC. I don't recall the load he was using, but I do remember that the bullet completely penetrated the bull broadside. Given that type performance, surely it work fine on deer and black bear. I bet if you delve through these articles you can find some answers.

The only reason for 215 instead of 240ish is because it has a very short nose and allows me to load 10 in my trapper length '92 for CAS.

Oh? This (http://www.accuratemolds.com/bullet_detail.php?bullet=43-165C-D.png) loaded over 4.0 grs. of Red Dot is the one I use for my CAS loads.

35W

mavracer
March 16, 2013, 01:07 PM
I noticed in Pearce's article he puts the L frame Smiths (296,396,696) in the 25K catagory. While the cylinder will certainly stand up to 25k the forcing cone won't take that kind of abuse and Smith is out of barrels.

murf
March 16, 2013, 01:31 PM
get ya some gallon jug fulla water and find out. bet they expand.

.434" diameter should fill those chamber throats (mine are all .432").

oh, i subscribe to handloader magazine. best there is for this kind of stuff.

mavracer, totally agree with you not wanting to abuse an out-of-production smith and wesson. the blackhawk can take the stout loads, so no worries.

murf

murf
March 19, 2013, 12:37 PM
well, i painted the rear sight of my 44spl blackhawk.

first i painted the whole bottom half way up the notch. couldn't see squat when i held the gun up. the rear sight fuzzed out to a white glob. no way to align front and back sights.

then i scrubbed that off and painted the top half on either side of the notch. that worked very well! for some reason, my eyes could align the top of the front sight even with the bottom of the paint on the rear sight.

anyway, the shooting results are in the fourth picture. i included more pics for comparison of the effects of bullet weight and velocity on point of impact.

murf

p.s. caution: the 300 grain load listed in the pictures below is above sammi limits for the 44 special. use at your own risk.

murf
March 19, 2013, 12:41 PM
35 whelen,

i'm not going to mess around with painting my rear sight on this particular gun. my 300 grain load shoots high and my 250 grain load shoots high. the only load to shoot low enough for the sights is the 200 grain load.

i need a taller front sight.

murf

35 Whelen
March 19, 2013, 03:33 PM
murf,
Thanks for the range report. I enjoy actual photos as it helps put thing into perspective. Have you chrono'ed any of your loads? If so, I'd like to see how they run, especially the 300 gr. load.
Like I mentioned in a previous post, you might try removing the rear sight and taking some metal off the rear underside of it. I removed just .010" using a small belt sander and it made a pretty good difference by lowering the POI at 25 and 50 yds. That portion of the sight can't be seen so you can't even tell the metal has been removed and if memory serves, it allowed the rear sight to go down another 3 clicks. At 25 yds. each click is .75", so 3 clicks would lower you POI over 2" which would help a little at least.

Yesterday I shot my Flat Top some more at 50 and 100 and tried my 200 yd. steel target which is a 22" white circle with a 13" black bull to simulate an across the course offhand High Power target. I found that I needed to elevate the front sight to a point about half way between the top of the front sight and where the serrations at the beginning of the ramp begin. What I did was use a caliper to determine the mid point between these two areas then take a three cornered needle file and lightly file the finish off the middle serration which made a shiny, easy to see line across the front sight. When I shot the pistol I could easily use the top of the front sight to put it at the proper point on the target while aligning the shiny serration with the top of the rear sight and the shiny line didn't interfere with sight alignment when using the sight normally.

By the time I got to this point in shooting yesterday, I'd fired close to 100 rounds and my eyes were really tired, but it was no real trick to keep 3 of 5 shots on the 200 yd target and sometimes I'd go 4 for 5. I was using the Skeeter load, by the way. I had three of the 17.0 gr. of 2400 load left from previous shooting and put two of those into the target. There's about 250 - 300 fps difference in those two loads and while it wouldn't seem possible, a fella can really tell it by the audibal difference in time of flight from the muzzle to striking the target! I have no intention of ever shooting game at that range, but it's fun to be able to hit targets that far away.

Another thing I'm struggling with because I've never done just tons of handgun shooting, is grip consistency. If I make the slightest adjustment in grip pressure my 50 yd groups go from 2.5" to 5 or 6". Very frustrating, but I'm working on it!

35W

murf
March 19, 2013, 08:57 PM
chrony readings are on the targets. the 300 grain load is just under 1000 fps.

the further the target the greater the bullet drop. my 45lc is dead on at 100 yards with the 265gn lswc bullet (1000 fps). i have to aim three feet low to hit the target using the 325 grain lbt bullet (1275 fps).

practicing consistency is the only way to improve accuracy. i use a firm handshake grip on most all my long-range pistols. also, most important is follow through. that has to be the same every shot (don't fight the recoil). confidence is the key.

shooting at distance, i can almost put the gun back in my holster before the bullet hits the steel.

semi-wadcutter bullets work best at long distances. they stay accurate past 50 yards. those 250grain keith bullets are the best in my 44 special.

murf

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