.44 Mag test

Not open for further replies.


Staff member
Nov 20, 2006
The other night I loaded up some Mag Tech 240 Gr JSPs with 19.9 Grs of AA #9 and 24.3 Grs of Lil" Gun. I know the AA Load will shoot, and wanted to try Lil' Gun. O.A.L. was 1.555 to 1.560 (Start lower and work up)

This has been my plinking bullet ever since a got a good deal on some. I don't shoot a lot of .44 Mag.

I used a heavier crimp than I had been with the Mag Techs, and it gave me more velocity with the AA #9 load than I had been getting. I set it up a little too snug, and am going to back it off a little. The 18 range brass I used for the test is tumbling right now, and I will load it again tonight or tomorrow.

I took today off (I lost PTO at work this pay period from not using it), so I went to the range to shoot them. Both shot well enough, with the edge going to AA #9 on this one try. It would take several targets apiece to determine anything, but I can't take that much .44 Mag. :eek:

What got my attention was the ES & SD of the Lil' Gun. I only shot 6 shots each, through the chrono to the target.

5.5" Redhawk

Lil' Gun....Avg=1461 FPS....ES=9....SD=3

AA #9....Avg=1454 FPS....ES=99....SD=38

I have been getting better ES & SD numbers with AA #9 (half as much) but it is what it is. A repeat of Lil' Gun would be interesting.

The Lil' Gun gave more recoil than the AA #9 for pretty much the same velocity.

Targets were at 7 yards, chrono at 5 yards.


The shots that missed the groups are probably all my fault. :p


  • AA #9 & Lil' Gun in .44 Mag - Ruger Redhawk.JPG
    AA #9 & Lil' Gun in .44 Mag - Ruger Redhawk.JPG
    79.2 KB · Views: 229
Last edited:
is this a SD load? If this is a hunting load you might set the target out a bit further?

did you shoot from a rest?

nice group with AA9

are you using a six o'clock hold?
I'm starting to like Lilgun more and more. The next thing I want to try (which will probably end up being next year at my current rate of progress) is to see how it will push 158 gr 357 bullets out of a rifle. I figure it's slow enough to really scoot them along. Low ES's sure are nice.
Is this a SD load? If this is a hunting load you might set the target out a bit further?
Plinking load that could double as a hunting load if need be. I was mainly getting numbers today and seeing if there was potential. There is.
did you shoot from a rest?
No. Sitting, two hands. I forgot the tripod for the chrono, so I set it on a 55 Gallon barrel. I had to sit to get at its level.
are you using a six o'clock hold?
I put the black on top of the sights. So yes, a 6 o'clock hold on the black.
Interesting results, I've been hearing good things about Lil Gun. I picked up a bunch of the same Magtech 240g JSP bullets as plinkers and was pleasantly surprised when they performed about as well as they have. Ran them up the same as my hunting load w/ XTP's and got great groups.

Think they need a water jug test and then a game tryout during deer season if they hold together well.
Interesting results

+1, thanks for posting them. My experience with Lil' Gun in .44mag has been similar to yours. More recoil and less accuracy than H110 with 240grainers pushed at about the same speed. Haven't tried it with 300 grainers in .44, but have found it to be better with heavier bullets in .357. With 158s in .357 I still prefer H110, but 170s and the 180s seem to like Lil' Gun.

This is the first time I have heard anything positive about the Magtechs in .44. Do they fly as well as other 240s for you?
Buck460XVR said:
This is the first time I have heard anything positive about the Magtechs in .44. Do they fly as well as other 240s for you?

I'm using them in a Marlin 1894. This is standard at 50 yards for the Magtech bullet, I was changing loads from my hunting load using the XTP and walked three in with the scope and then put the three shot group up. They hold 1.5" at 100 consistently, some better if I'm having a good day.

So they fly good for me, but I'd want to stress test 'em on the water jugs before taking a crack at deer with 'em. I had an email/phone conversation with the importer about the design velocity for 'em but the Brazilian side never responded. For paper and gongs, they're great, but I have no idea (unlike the XTP) how they'll hold together on meat and bone.
thanks for the info Asherdan. Back when bullets were hard to come by I almost picked some up looking for a cheaper alternative for plinking. Without knowing if XTPs were ever gonna come back before hunting season I wanted to save the few I had left and still be able to go to the range regularly. Ended up with a coupla Speer value-pacs instead. Now that XTPs are back at my local gunshop, they're cheaper than the Magtechs.........go figure.
I am like Asherdan. I was very pleased when I found out how well the Mag Techs would shoot. I bought them as cheap plinkers.

Why so close???

As I stated in Post # 5, I was just getting numbers today, and seeing if it had potential. It's much easier and faster to set up the chrono to shoot through and hit a target 2 yards past it, rather than 45 yards past it. Maybe I'll go through the trouble and shoot em at 50 yards next time, just to make you happy. :)
One thing I've noticed in using Lil' Gun is that my guns seem to get much hotter to the touch than when shooting the same amount with H110. Did you happen to notice any difference there?

I use Lil'Gun in both .45 Colt with 300gr and up and in .357 with 180gr and up. Otherwise H110 works much better.

Oddly enough the minimum load according to Hodgdon for Lil' Gun in a .45 Colt with a 240gr bullet is 27 grains. Max is 27.8... A whole .8 of a grain to work with...yay!
Looking good. Couple questions-

What brand of brass?

How much neck tension? When I've had brass that didn't have good neck tension, I got ES and SD numbers just like you are getting with your AA9 load, regardless of crimp level.

I've found that when you're going for full snort stuff with slow powders in magnum pistol calibers good neck tension is much more critical than crimp for consistent performance.
I looked at my data, most of my 44 Magnum loads, and is mostly AA#9, 2400, the SD is between 20 and 30 fps.

Something around 9 fps is either a statistical fluke, or an exceptionally well balanced load.
Took the day off. I am maxed out on PTO and had to go to the dentist to get a broken filling fixed anyway. A good way to test the filling would be to touch off some .44 mag, right? :D

I had some AA #9 rounds left and just got some N 110 to try, so I loaded some up with 20.4 Grs N 110 (Starting load, and looked like it would give the approximately same velocity as the AA # 9 load)

I shot one group with the N 110 and one group with the AA #9. Both shot very well, although on the second group I really yanked one shot.

If you put both targets together 8 shots would be in one ragged hole, with 3 up a little, and one hanging way out which is my fault.

I had adjusted my sights after the last range trip, and the POI was better.

N 110 - Magtech 240 Gr JSP

AA #9 - 240 Gr Magtech JSP


  • Load # 20 - .44 Mag.JPG
    Load # 20 - .44 Mag.JPG
    87 KB · Views: 132
  • Load # 21 - .44 Mag.JPG
    Load # 21 - .44 Mag.JPG
    80.2 KB · Views: 144
Last edited:
Nice update, Walkalong. I tested some .44 Magnum loads in my Marlin 1894 (20" barrel) the other day, and the results are very comparable to yours.

Using Hornady 240gr HP/XTPs loaded to 1.600" with Starline brass at 1.275", CCI 300 primers (CCI 350s for H110 and W296), and a firm roll crimp, I got the following numbers:

AA #9...........19.0..............1639.........7........3
AA #9...........20.0..............1695........33......12
VV N110........19.0..............1644........14......10
VV N110........20.0..............1700........43......14

I was looking mostly for velocity, because Colorado has these minimum energy laws for rifles and handguns. In this case, the Marlin needs to generate a minimum of 1670fps at the muzzle in order to have 1000 ft-lbs remaining at 100 yards (assuming the bullet's BC is .205). However, I had no problem keeping all the shots centered on the 16" gong at 50 yards.

Comparing your data to mine, it looks like the jacketed 240gr bullet is gaining about 25 fps for each additional inch of barrel. After I fine-tune these hunting loads, I'll shoot some through the 4" barrel of the S&W 629 just to compare. Ironically, the handgun only needs to generate 550 ft-lbs at 50 yards in order to be legal (which these will accomplish easily). Don't you just love bureaucrats?
Last edited:
Don't you just love bureaucrats?
Well, not really.

I gave my Winchester 94 in .44 Mag to my older son, or I could have gotten some numbers from a carbine as well. It would have been interesting.

I stopped at 19.9 with AA #9 because it gave me all I wanted, was very accurate, and was the max in Speer #13. I tried 20.4 of N 110 because it was the start load listed by Vihtavuori, and loked like it would be about the same velocity as the AA #9 load.

Accurate shows a max load of 21.3 AA #9, and Vihtivuori goes to 22.1 with N 110 using 240 Gr jacketed bullets. 19.9 Grs AA #9 filled the air space in the case about 95%, and 20.4 Grs of N 110 was slightly compressed.

If you get some more numbers post them as well. :)
I went ahead and edited my previous post to include the data points for 2400, H110, and W296. I'll probably continue working with them for this application. W296 and H110 because they are still a ways from their max loads, and 2400 because the numbers were almost too good to be true. I'm thinking around 20.5gr of 2400 might be just the ticket.
Not open for further replies.