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44 Special data for 44 Mag brass?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bandur60, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. bandur60

    bandur60 Member

    Does the longer magnum brass cause strange things to happen if 44sp data is used to load to 44mag length? I have no 44sp brass but want to load milder, and starting load data for the mag is higher than max for special. Guess I could trim some brass back....

    I've loaded rifle cartridges since ('70?) and 38/357, but just got the 629 a year ago and a Vaquero two weeks ago.

    This question is asked in all seriousness. Thanks.
  2. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

    I've been told to add 10% to 44 spl loads in 44 mag cases to compensate for extra volume, but I am eager to hear what other fellows have to say. I use 10.0g of 2400 under a 240g LSWC, and it's one of my favorite loads. I also use 6.2g of Unique behind a 240g LSWC loaded backwards and seated flush to the case mouth, to make a 44mag WC load. A VERY accurate and economical load.
  3. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Active Member

    I recommend using .44 Magnum data for a very fast powder like Red Dot or Titegroup. The starting data for these powders should be just about what you want, and you can go up a little or down a lot from there to get whatever level you want -- very economically too.

    Or you can use normal pressure .45 Colt load data (not the "Ruger" data) in .44 Magnum brass for whatever powder you have.
  4. ranger335v

    ranger335v New Member

    It sounds like you are asking if the .44 M can be down loaded. ??

    If so, it sure can. But not withw H-110 or Win 296. Unique works great with moderate loads.
  5. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig New Member

    Want something in the 900fps range? Try 7g W231 under a cast 240g SWC. That's been my go-to load for a "useful special" for the past 20+ years.

    Many say Unique or HS6 are a good selection for a midrange round too.

    Like you, I use magnum brass - I don't like resetting the dies or the carbon rings in the cylinder.
  6. evan price

    evan price Active Member

    If you are using lead bullets you can get away with a lot lower charges. I use Titegroup and a 240-grain Lead SWC bullet. You can do 4.7 grains which is the .44 spl load for mouse-fart .44's or 6.3 grains for something a little more heavy but still light. I load 9.7 grains of Titegroup for more fully powered range loads with no leading problems with my hardcast bullets.
  7. bluetopper

    bluetopper New Member

    I have a 44 Redhawk on layaway.......has anyone loaded light with Power Pistol powder?
  8. .38 Special

    .38 Special New Member

    I have experienced bloopers in downloading the magnums, even with faster powders like Unique. So in general, I am a little leery of going below recommended charges.

    I have switched to IMR Trail Boss for almost all light loads in large cases. It is made for the task and works beautifully. IMR suggests six grains in the .44 Magnum with the 240 LSWC for about 800 FPS. Link. In the OPs shoes this is what I would use.
  9. evan price

    evan price Active Member

    Only problem with Trail Boss is a half-pound can costs as much as a full pound of other powders.
  10. depoloni

    depoloni New Member

    I regularly load cast "special" loads in full 44mag brass in my 8-1/2" Taurus for the wife to shoot.

    After all is said and done, I like between 6.0 grains of W-231 at ~800fps and 7.0 grains at ~900fps behind 240 SWC or RNFP bullets. Both velocities are from my pistol/chrono but are both very accurate and mild.
  11. Fourbits

    Fourbits New Member

    Here are a couple of light loads I've used without any problems. All with a 240 grain LSWC.

    Unique 8.2
    Winchester 231 8.1
    Winchester 231 5.6

    The 5.6 grains W231 is so light it feels like a 38 special. You might want to stick to the 8.1 grains!
  12. .38 Special

    .38 Special New Member

    My local shop sells Trail Boss for $13 a can and other IMR powders for $20 a can. The Trail Boss is more expensive but nothing like double, and of course, one tends to use less Trail Boss than other typical powders.

    Just for yucks, I looked up a few prices. Cabela's sells TB for $13 a can and other IMR powders for $22 a can. Powder Valley has TB for $11 a can and other IMR powders for $17-$18 per can. Midway has TB for $12.50 a can and other IMR powders for $21 per can.

    So I think you need to shop at a different store, mate!
  13. evan price

    evan price Active Member

    I buy Titegroup for $11.25 a pound in 8# jugs from a local distributor- but that's not strictly relevant, even though the price per pound is LESS than Trail Boss.

    It's $14.99 per pound at the local shop however, and we'll use those numbers for comparison (Perhaps you should shop at another store, mate!):

    Trail Boss is $13.99 a half-pound at my local shop.

    By way of comparison 2400 is $18.99 per pound at the local shop.

    .44 Magnum 240-lead-SWC from
    Hodgdon's 2008 Basic Reloader's Manual, pg 31, Cowboy Action Data: Smokeless Pistol/Carbine:

    4.7 gr 801 fps/11,100 CUP minimum
    6.2 gr 970 fps/18,400 CUP maximum

    Trail Boss:
    6.0 gr 828 fps/19,100 CUP minimum
    7.3 gr 917 fps/21,600 CUP maximum

    Cost, buying std. cans at the shop:
    Min load:Approx 1.1¢
    Max load:Approx 1.4¢

    Trail Boss-
    Min load:Approx 2.4¢
    Max load: Approx 2.9¢

    In actual fact, Trail Boss costs more than double the cost of Titegroup, and it produces quite a bit more pressure for not much of a difference in velocity.

    Titanic waste of effort on my part to bother looking it all up and doing the maths especially since everyone probably dozed off or hit the <back> button a full 30 seconds ago- but there you have it.
  14. .38 Special

    .38 Special New Member

    You win, mate. The best price you can possibly find for bulk Titegroup is better than the average price on the minimum amount available from your local shop.

    Thanks for opening my eyes for me! :p
  15. sargenv

    sargenv New Member

    While trail boss is more expensive than Titegroup, what you gain with trail boss is the security in knowing you will positively fill the case and will not have much of a chance of a double charge as you might with Titegroup. Trail boss is quite fluffy and you would not be able to double it without spilling it all over the place.

    In fact, I just took a comparitive picture comparing 8 gr of Trail boss to a nearly triple charge of Titegroup (18 gr) in a 44 magnum case. I would personally pay the slightly higher price of the Trail boss to ensure there would be no way I could double charge myself into a destroyed gun. I've seen what a double charge of Bullseye (18 gr) can do to a Ruger Redhawk.. and it ain't pretty.

    Attached Files:

  16. .38 Special

    .38 Special New Member

    Too late. Evan already won the thread. He's probably enjoying his trophy as we speak. :neener:
  17. sargenv

    sargenv New Member

    I really don't care who wins a thread.. all I'm interested in is informing you of mistakes I or other people close to me have made and want to prevent. Loading such a large case with fast burning propellant can cause issues like that. Cheap is one thing, foolish is quite another. I've always loaded all my pistol cases with the method of single charge viewable, double charge overflows. Until trail boss came along, it was hard to find a powder that could do that. Use the info as you will. :)
  18. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Active Member

    Check out Alliant Promo. It's just under $10 per pound, quite bulky, and it burns clean at moderate pressure levels. Use Red Dot load data. A double charge will not necessarily overflow a .44 Magnum case, but it will fill it to the brim. (be forewarned that the recoil will get really nasty as you approach a maximum load, even though the muzzle velocity is not all that high)

    I use Promo in my favorite .45 Colt +P load. If you're happy with about 1000 to 1100 fps with a middleweight bullet, you can't beat Red Dot or Promo in a big bore revolver.
  19. evan price

    evan price Active Member

    I'll put the trophy with my Special Olympics trophies...you know what they say about arguing on the internet and whoever wins or loses...

    If you re-read my post you will see I used the standard 1# can price of $14.99 each for my figures, not the 8# bulk keg price per pound which would show even greater savings-
    And I have yet to see Trail Boss in 8# kegs.

    If you are carefully loading you won't have triple charges or double charges, will you?
  20. jjohnson

    jjohnson New Member

    Sargenv is Right. Err on the side of caution.

    +1, Sargenv. Most of us aren't here to win threads. Call it "operator error" on my part but I've made my own mistakes in reloading. The overcharged .44 Special ammo was found while shooting it in my S&W M29, not my Charter Arms Bulldog :what: so I'm typing with ALL of my fingers.

    I suspect those of us who reload those big bores a lot have seen that happen once or twice. It's annoying to find a squib load in your ammo :cuss: but downright exciting to find a double charge. :eek: High volume powders like Trail Boss add a safety factor to an inherently dangerous operation.

    No, I don't watch TV or anything when I reload, but have been interrupted once or twice. There are old reloaders, and bold reloaders, but not that many old bold reloaders. At least, not with all their fingers. :uhoh:

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