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44 Special target amo for a S&W 629

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by sjcslk, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. sjcslk

    sjcslk Well-Known Member

    Just wondering what grain & type 44 special amo I should be using for target practice out of my S&W 629? I'm asking because I recently found out I shouldn't be putting a lot of 125 grain rounds through my K frame S&W model 65. Thanks,
  2. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    The standard "factory" ammo in .44 S&W Spl. is built to the original spec--IOW, no harm to your 629. Even "defensive" issue is not a problem; this round runs well in lower pressure ranges compared to .357 Magnum rounds.

    However, as you may have discovered, it is hard to locate .44 Spl factory ammo--and when you do, you will not want to pay the price. So, a lot of us reload...

    And, if you have not started reloading, this round would be an ideal one to learn on. Big bullets, big cases, good components readily available--the only caveat is to watch for double charges in that big case.

    A perfectly safe load for your 629 would be "Skeeter's load"--and if you are interested in reloading, look it up--and come on over the the Reloading forum here. Meanwhile, don't worry about any .44 S&W Spl ammo in your 629.

    Jim H.
  3. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Your best bet is to load your own .44 special target loads in .44 magnum cartridge cases. If you shoot much, the cost savings along will pay for your reloading equipment.
  4. Japle

    Japle Well-Known Member

    Yeah, reloading is the way to go.

    In my 4" M29, I like a plated 200 gr RN bullet over 5.0 gr of Clays powder in .44 Special cases. I get 755 fps.
    It's a mild plinking load, but very accurate and nice for double-action shooting.
    If I want to go a little hotter, I load a 240 gr JHP over 11.0 gr of Blue Dot powder in .44 Mag cases. Don't know what the velocity is.
  5. PapaG

    PapaG Well-Known Member

    Any 240-250 grain cast bullet, round nose, semi, flat point or whatever over 6.5 to 7.5 grains of Unique, or for those who hate Unique, Universal Clays will just about duplicate the factory 246/750 fps load for about one quarter the cost. Cast 'em out of lead wheelweights, lube 'em with alox/beeswax formula and you should have no leading problems.
  6. sjcslk

    sjcslk Well-Known Member


    How much would it cost me to get set up for re-loading 44 specials? Can you also change it up to re-load shot gun shells? I've thought about getting into re-loading; I wouldn't want cheap equipment, but wouldn't need the best either. I'd be new to this; for example, whatever PapaG posted was Greek to me! Thanks,
  7. earplug

    earplug Well-Known Member

    Less then $100.00 or lots more

    I would start saving your 44 REM MAG cases and forget about reloading for the 44 spl.
    I'd check EBay, craigslist and your local area for used reloading equipment.
    You want a thing called a carbide resizing die. This is the die that restores the fired case to factory dimensions.
    If you let us know where you live, someone will probably help you.
  8. WAID

    WAID Well-Known Member

    The 125 grain and lighter restriction on the .357 is a .357 specific issue as far as I know. If you loaded lighter .38 spl in the same gun I do not believe it has the same problem(or slower .357). I just load .44 mag cases with my light loads. That way I don't have to mess around with the seating or crimping die between light and heavy loads. The heavy loads push a 240 gr SWC at 1460fps with N110. The light loads push the same bullet 850fps with trail boss. Both loads fill the case to a similar level.
  9. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...through my K frame S&W..." 'K' frames are like that. A steady diet of hot .357 ammo can damage 'em. They're not as heavily built as your 629 or any 'L' frame.
    "...set up for re-loading 44 Specials..." Same as it will for reloading .44 Mag. You really are best to load .44 Mag brass to .44 Special velocities with cast bullets. When a shorter case is used it'll leave a ring of lube gunk in the cylinders. Isn't a big deal as it comes out with regular cleaning, but loading the magnum case to Special velocities makes it go away altogether. Same thing for a .357 Magnum and .38 Specials.
    As mentioned, .44 Special brass and ammo is pricey and isn't easy to get. Midway, for example, wants $35.99 per 50 for 240 grain .44 Special 'Cowboy' ammo. $39.99 per 50 for 240 grain JSP's.
    Buy a copy of The ABC's of Reloading, then have a look at the RCBS or Lee beginner's kits. Lee will be less expensive, but the warrantee isn't as good. Only 2 years for the original buyer and older than 2 year old kit requires paying half the current retail price. RCBS' warrantee is on the equipment, lasts forever and they don't care if you buy used kit. Have any problems or breakages, they'll replace it with a phone call. Even if you caused it.
    "...change it up to re-load shot gun shells?..." No. Reloading shotgun ammo uses a different press. Usually far less expensive than rifle/handgun loading kit. Lee also makes shotgun presses.
  10. unspellable

    unspellable Well-Known Member

    I have revolvers in 44 Special, 44 Magnum, and 445 SuperMag. For reduced loads in the 44 Magnum I use 44 Magnum brass, I don't like to use shorter cases in a longer chamber. With today's powders (Trail Boss might be a starting point.) and a fairly deep seated semi-wadcutter you can get target grade accuracy.

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