Herco for 44 mag w/ Keith's and XTP's


jay bird id
March 27, 2013, 03:07 AM
I picked up a 629-1 in mid-Feb and instantly was excited to start reloading for 44 mag.
Dies were easy, I talked to Sue at Kempf's for five minutes and two and a half days later I was setting up the turret.
Bullets should be shipped any day now from Missouri and in the meantime I am loading 180 and 300 gr XTP's over Unique.
I like how the 180's feel but not the 300's.
I really need some 2400.
Today the new Sportsman's reopened its doors and the only magnum powder they had in stock was 4# of Herco.
I bought it ($69 + tax).
What's y'alls opinion of Herco?

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41 Mag
March 27, 2013, 05:25 AM
I can't really comment based upon personal experience as it is a bit faster burning than most powders I use with my 44 loads. However with the state of how things are there is no reason not to load it up and use it for what it's worth.

Your not going to get any blistering fast top end loads like you might if using something like 2400 or 296, but you should easily be able to put together some very effective loads non the less. Just work it up in say 2/10 gr increments, and you should be able to dial a very accurate load.

You didn't say what weight bullets your expecting, or if they are jacketed or lead. I would try to use mid weight bullets in the 240'ish grain range, they will give you generally better performance both on target and on game if you decide to hunt with them. Not that the lighter bullets won't, but you will have more retained energy with the heavier ones that will give you better penetration even if they are started out a bit slower.

I didn't look through anything but online data sources, and it was pretty silly that Alliant states, " * Excellent hi-base hunting loads, * Great for magnum handguns, * Versatile", in their listing for it in the shotgun powders, but has no data that I could fine listed for the 44mag. Personally I never found much use for their online data anyway but you would think they would at least include data for the powders they recommend uses for.

I did find listings for it here, 44 Magnum (http://www.handloads.org/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=44%20Magnum&Weight=All&type=Handgun&Order=Powder&Source=)on Handloads.org. If you use any of it be sure to stick with the listing which have Alliant listed as the source.

Hope this helps.

Wil Terry
March 27, 2013, 12:24 PM
THE 44MAG with the Keith 429421-250GR SWC bullet over 10.4GRS of HERCO is an outstanding medium velocity load that shoots very well indeed in all of my 44MAG sixguns of every make and BBL length. IN extensive testing in all those sixguns it outshot ALL of the other appropriate pistol propellents tested.

March 27, 2013, 12:45 PM
Go here for Herco / .44 Mag data.

All data shown is Max.
Reduce 10% for Starting loads.

Current Alliant data is tied to their sister company being Speer bullets, so they don't list anything useful if you are not using Speer bullets.


March 27, 2013, 06:26 PM
I love HERCO & my Redhawks do also !!!

But - - my measures don`t :barf:

But I found dippin to be alot more consistent way to measure HERCO

As you`ll find it`s a large flake powder & will burn clean in it`s mid to upper loadings, it gives me very consistent ESs also, especially in the upper ranges.

Being it burns well I found it a bit spiky if I try to push on it .

Very little velocity gain with stiky cases ^^^

Maj Dad
March 27, 2013, 11:46 PM
Herco: serious flashbacks...:p Excellent powder and excellent results with most, but not all combinations. Try it out & see how it works for you - if not, just let us all know & someone will take it off your hands... ;)

jay bird id
March 28, 2013, 01:31 PM
Thanks for all the great info, that download will prove to be invaluable.
I loaded and shot some 180 XTP over 10.2 Herco, that is a pleasant and accurate light load.
I can't wait for my 240 lead Kieth's to arrive, they should be shipping soon.
Now it's back to the bench so I can hit the range again today.

Jesse Heywood
March 28, 2013, 02:34 PM
If you aren't pleased with Herco, a slower powder that is available in most places is IMR 4227. IMR website shows loads for all the bullets you listed.

March 28, 2013, 07:48 PM
Herco...Unique's unwanted neglected redheaded freckled ugly cousin.

In my experience it works better than Unique in cast loads. Can't find data???? use Unique data and work up from there; you can put a bit more in and still be in safe pressures. It does like to be driven a bit harder than Unique and will be dirty at lower pressures. In a large case like a 44; the bulkiness is a plus if you are concerned about under / over charging. It will give metering problems in many powder measures; like GP100man said powder dippers are better for this stuff.

Want to open the throttle a bit with light for caliber bullets? It is a fair choice that can certainly give acceptable results.

I really don't care for flaming dirt (Unique) and flaming dirts cousin (Herco) but I found dirts cousin makes some good 20 gauge loads and some good messing around loads for my 357's and 44's when driven hard with cast bullets.

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