I am seeing loads for this combination varying pretty dramatically. In some cases people saying in the 10 grain range. My Layman manual has a starting load of 9.8 gr for linotype (245 gr bullet), but no softer lead loads. From what I see in my Speer manual and Alliant website, it looks like 6.3-6.5 grains is a good starting load. I am just looking to create a plinking load with this.
Any reason I shouldn't do a starting load at 6.5gr of Unique 44 mag 240 gr Speer LSWC.
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May 23, 2015, 02:42 PM
6.5 with a Speer swaged bullet should be OK.
May 24, 2015, 05:34 AM
Starting at 6.5 is just fine.
I use 8.0 grs of unique behind a 240gr LSWC with boring regularity. Very nice load.
May 24, 2015, 11:00 AM
+1. 6.5 to 7.0 is a great load. 10 grains sounds way overboard to me.
May 24, 2015, 11:53 AM
10 gr Unique works well, but is near/at maximum. http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/th_IMG_3306B.jpg (http://s338.photobucket.com/user/joe1944usa/media/IMG_3306B.jpg.html)
May 24, 2015, 12:00 PM
IMO, 10gr is too much. You're going to get a lot of leading with soft bullets. I like 8gr of Unique with a hard cast bullet.
May 24, 2015, 12:31 PM
The reason for the variance is the difference between soft swaged bullets like Speer and Hornady and hard cast from the various manufactures. The swaged bullets are generally around a 12 brennel hardness and will lead the barrel if pushed even 1000 fps, hard cast will be between 18-20 and can easily be pushed over 1000 without leading. I've shot a ton of 240 hard cast over unique over the years and 10 isn't too much for a good hard cast and is my prefered load, the cavet being I used to shoot a lot at 8.0gr too until I got a couple dedicated 44 specials.
6.5gr will be a pussy cat to shoot but should be very accurate, I've yet to find a gun that didn't like the cast bullet and unique powder combo.
May 24, 2015, 06:36 PM
10.0gr is great for cast bullets but too much for swaged. Especially the soft Speers. Hornady swaged bullets are harder but there ain't much lube to work with.
May 24, 2015, 07:12 PM
I've shot tons of 9 grs Unique with cast 200-250 gr bullets in magnum cases for a really nice moderate level load, more of this load than everything else combined, by a large margin.
The Speer swaged bullets are soft. The ones I shot leaded like crazy. I'd strongly suggest cast over swaged for most uses.
May 25, 2015, 05:59 PM
Just got some Unique. What do you guys start with, with plated Xtream bullets and a soft target load.... somewhere in the ''special'' range. My wife can shoot the mag loads, but after 10 or so it begins to hurt her hands. She loves to shoot it, so i'm going to work up some nice target loads for her to practice with.
May 25, 2015, 06:15 PM
In some cases people saying in the 10 grain range. FWIW when it comes to reloading, ignore "what everybody is doing" and use a reloading manual(s) for load data. The 10.0 grain Unique load is what I call a "celebrity load" as someone famous used this load years ago with success and it became "the" load. I have used 10.0 gr. of Unique with a 250 LSWC, but it was not the best in accuracy in my guns, and most of my .44 Magnum loads of Unique are lower, most not over 9.0 gr. I'm using more 2400, Blue Dot, and WC820 now...
May 25, 2015, 06:18 PM
I, by a wide margin, prefer 2400 for stout .44 Mag loads over unique.
May 25, 2015, 06:33 PM
Just got some Unique. What do you guys start with, with plated Xtream bullets and a soft target load.... somewhere in the ''special'' range. My wife can shoot the mag loads, but after 10 or so it begins to hurt her hands. She loves to shoot it, so i'm going to work up some nice target loads for her to practice with. On the upper end of special and below 44 mag at 7.5 gr Unique for me using the Xtreme 240gr RNFP.
May 26, 2015, 12:08 AM
8.0 grains was my dad's pet load
May 26, 2015, 08:21 AM
I've used 10 gr under 200-240gr boolits.
I've settled on about 7.5gr under a 240gr boolit.
May 26, 2015, 10:41 AM
Unique + 44 mag +240 LSWC warying loads.
I am confused. Maybe warying is an adjective I don't understand. I take it as meaning being cautiously concerned. I read all these previous posts last night but was too tired to post.
Just so happens I went out on Sunday shooting some 44 magnum loads I made up.
They were 255 gr SWC on top of 10.5 gr Unique seated to 1.654 and using a medium factory crimp die. I will admit that they were stout and I shot them out of a 8 3/8 " S&W 629. ( This load will not cycle easily in my Henry rifle so I have to use it in this handgun )
At 25 yards I had all my shots in the black of a man target, mostly grouped in the middle and he looked like swiss cheese.
These were not once fired brass, some were due to be chucked, and about 3 were split or cracked after shooting.
Since I was going to reload this brass for the last time this thread caught my eye.
Why is everyone recommending 10.0 gr as a max and loading considerably lower than me? I got my data from Lyman #49 edition.
A 240 gr linotype using UNIQUE starts at 10.0 with a max of 11.7
A 255 gr linotype SWC (what I loaded) using UNIQUE starts at 8.9 with a max of 12.1
I am not recommending my load in any way! I just wondered why is everyone using less powder. I have loaded up some 225 gr Hornady FTX with 10.7 gr UNIQUE and I wonder if I am unnecessarily going "too hot".
LATE EDIT: Re-reading, I do see some comments referring to plinking and light target loads. Why not use a 44 spl case?
May 26, 2015, 12:07 PM
I keep my plinking (or special level) loads in a mag case for 2 reasons:
1. I don't have to buy 44 special brass which is hard to find in my area
2. To eliminate any carbon rings in the cylinder from shooting shorter cases
May 26, 2015, 04:12 PM
The .44 Magnum is so versatile you can load everything from 123 gr balls over a few grains of Bullseye up to 300 gr T-Rex Killers over huge loads of H110/W296. Using Magnum brass simplifies inventory problems and is just easier. But for me and most folks I know, shooters quickly grow out of "Magnumitus" after shooting heavy loads for any period of time (I lasted 2 years, nearly every load was a wrist breaker). I had to send my 629 back to the factory to have the barrel realigned (factory report on repair stated possibly too many too hot loads was the problem). I now keep my .44 Magnum handgun loads down to "hot Special levels" as I ain't huntn' no bears and my targets can't tell the difference between 900 fps or 1,200 fps, but I sure can (and my guns can too!)...:D
May 26, 2015, 04:29 PM
The OP clearly said he was using Speer LSWC. They are very soft. The data in the Speer manual fits your bullets. If you buy hard cast bullets, then you can switch over to Lyman's manual.
The 6.5gr Unique load you mentioned will be fine. Check barrel for leading, and adjust load accordingly within the parmeters of the Speer manual.
Buy hardcast in bulk of 500 will cut your costs drastically, and increase versatility. I can Missouri bullets from starting lead loads to full power magnum loads and they're a fraction of the price of Speer.
May 28, 2015, 05:57 PM
I use 10 grains Unique with the 240 grain hardcast missouri bullets. Scary accurate although I do get some leading. By far my favorite load/gun to shoot.
May 29, 2015, 08:34 AM
Mdi, I use three loads, 44spl case with low end of titegroup for my wife. A load that I shot for plinking which is this load using 44mag cases, then a load with 11.3 BE-86 with xtreme CP 240 gr bullets. That's my "this is a 44 mag gun" load. If I was the only one that shot it, I would only have 44mag brass.
May 29, 2015, 11:40 AM
8.0 grs. has been my favorite target load for years with a cast 240gr. SWC
yields 970fps. out of my 6" 629. Ran out of Unique about a year ago and switched to Universal clays I find it meters better is cleaner burning and requires less powder for equal velocities. Here's some chrono results.